Elizaveta Brisker, People Operations Generalist at Latana, has created this article as part of our Locimo Experts series.
Everyone comes to the point when they are ready to take the next step in their career. This usually includes the “promotion conversation” with your manager/boss. This can terrify a lot of people, with just 44% of people asking for a promotion out of the 58% of people unhappy with their salaries.
Are you part of this 56% of people afraid to ask for a promotion? Read on for tips on what to consider when asking your boss for a promotion.
Create An Anchor
The very first step you should take is to create an anchor. Determine:
● What is it exactly that you want?
● What goal have you set for your next career step?
● How do you want to accomplish it?
Create a well thought-out description of what your expectations are: they should be tied to the specific career step that you are striving for, but also define the salary increase that you are expecting. Once you have a clear path, inform your boss about the reason for the meeting, in order to give them time to prepare themselves. They might come back with a lot of questions. In case this happens don't answer all of them while still in the process of scheduling the meeting. Give yourself time to prepare.
Come prepared to see yourself. Bring examples of your work results and how it has resulted in success for the company. Your boss might point out areas of improvement but, at this stage, remain focused on results and try to avoid taking possibly negative feedback too personally (this might sound harsh but it really helps stacking focused).
Set yourself a minimum and maximum goal for the conversation (e.g. min: discuss opportunities and schedule another meeting to plan how to achieve a promotion in the future/ max: agree on a promotion and set a deadline for the paperwork). This will help you to go into the conversation with realistic expectations.
Make Sure You Get a Result
Don't leave the discussion without a result. If your boss is not open to your proposal right now, some other positive results are another scheduled meeting or a career plan that will help you achieve your goal some time in the future.
If you find it hard to conduct conversations like that, act it out in a mirror or with a friend. This will help your brain to play through situations that you haven't been in before and will keep you calm and focused during the actual conversation.
Know Who You Are Speaking To
In order to get someone to come around to your way of thinking, you need to be able to speak their language. Here are some types of leaders you might face and how to have a fruitful conversation with them:
● The Bossy Boss: This type will make it harder for you to make your proposal by asking a bunch of questions before the meeting to unconsciously intimidate you and find reasons to not start the conversation. Avoid this happening by responding “we'll talk more about this in the meeting”. Win the situation by remaining patient and respectfully insisting to talk about your proposal in person.
● The Silent Boss: This type is a very analytical person that remains quiet and soaks any information in before answering any requests. Silence can be frustrating or confusing, because you don’t really know what to do or say. If you feel that your Silent Boss is not going to react right now, offer to schedule another meeting to give them time to digest and think about your proposal. It is also useful to present them with proper documentation about your work that they can process later on.
● The Leader: If you are lucky to have The Leader as your boss, you will have a very easy and constructive conversation. This type will listen and take notes to make sure you're heard. Even though they might not be able to give you a concrete answer right away, they will follow up with you and not let you hang out to dry.
Asking for a promotion is no easy feat. However, if you take the tips above into consideration, you’ll have a solid foundation for a successful conversation. Be yourself and clear about your needs, by keeping your eyes on the goals that you set for yourself, your career, and the conversation. Good luck!
About the Author:
Elizaveta Brisker is People Operations Generalist at Latana. With over 5 years of experience in the industry, Elizaveta is passionate about helping employees grow and meet their full potential.