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5 Things You Should Do Before Asking For A Promotion 

by Marianne Stenger
Posted: April 27, 2016

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Whether you’re thinking about asking for a pay rise or asking for a promotion, there are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of success.

Being well-prepared before you approach your employer will make it easier to explain why you deserve more, and you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a competitive salary, flexible schedule or whatever else might be important to you. 

So here are five important things to take care of before you ask for a promotion or pay rise.  

1. Do your research

Asking for a promotion, asking for a pay rise

There are a few things you’ll need to research in order to be confident, yet reasonable in your request. First and foremost, you’ll need to know how much others in your industry or role are making. 

To figure this out, you could speak to recruiters and colleagues or even check job advertisements to see what people in your position with similar qualifications and experience are being offered. Sites like Glassdoor or Payscale can also give you a better idea of how much you should ask for. 

Being able to clearly explain why you feel you deserve a pay rise or promotion is also essential, so spend some time re-reading your job description to see whether you have taken on any extra responsibilities or gone above and beyond in any way. 

2. Know where you want to be

Since employers generally want to know that you’re committed to the company before giving you more responsibility and/or increasing your salary, it might be difficult to convince the higher ups that you deserve a pay rise or promotion if you’re not really sure what you’re working towards. 

If you haven’t yet thought about where you want to be in the next five to ten years, it could be a good idea to create a professional development plan. This will help you map out your career goals and get your story straight before approaching your employer with a formal request. 

3. Prove yourself

Prove yourself to get promoted quickly

Before you approach your employer, try to collect plenty of evidence that your pay rise or promotion is well-deserved. For instance: 

  • Is there a big project you completed ahead of schedule? 
  • Have you boosted sales or helped attract new clients
  • Have you taken on any additional responsibilities since you were hired? 
  • Have you recently completed any training or tertiary education that will benefit the company
  • Have you recently received any praise or recognition for your work?  

4. Time it right 

Timing is everything, so if the company is going through a difficult financial period, considering a merger or cutting jobs, it’s probably best to hold off on asking for a pay rise until things are more stable. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should generally have worked in your job for at least one year before asking for a pay rise. Similarly, if you received a pay rise six months ago, it’s best to wait at least another six months before asking for another one, unless your circumstances have changed dramatically and you’ve taken on responsibilities that don’t fall under your job description. 

5. Have a plan B

Contingency plan

Even if you feel confident that your request will be successful, it’s good to have a plan B. For instance, if the company can’t increase your salary due to financial constraints, you might be able to ask for other benefits, such as additional personal days, more flexible working hours or the opportunity to take on new responsibilities or work on projects you really love.

If it’s not a matter of money, ask what you can do to earn that promotion or pay rise, and request to re-open negotiations down the line when circumstances have changed. 

Do you feel you’re being overlooked for a promotion? If so, it might be time to shake things up. Our Professional Development eBook can help you figure out where to start. 


Marianne Stenger

Marianne is a London-based freelance Writer and Journalist with extensive experience covering all things learning and development. Her articles have been featured by the likes of ABC Education, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Psych Central.

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