News Flash, for 99% of us, our bosses are NOT our friends. Unless you’re in that 1% (if you’re not sure whether or not this is you….it’s not you) you have to make things happen for yourself because they sure as shit won’t be handed to you.*
*A misconception I used to have was that if I just did a good job, my boss would go out and get me more money or a promotion. I was an idiot. Think about it…Your boss asking his boss for more money for you is not a fun conversation, so it’s not something he’s going to volunteer to do. You need to force the issue.
Everyone has an opinion on the best way to answer the “how to ask for a promotion” question. The problem is that most often what you get is politically correct bull shit that amounts to beating around the bush. Lucky for you, we don’t really do PC here so I’ll give you the answer I wish someone gave me when I first started working.
1.Have a game plan, 2.be aggressive (within reason) and 3. be prepared to if things don’t go your way.
Have A Game Plan
Make no mistake about it, this is a negotiation and you’re probably not going to come in with an upper hand so you need to be prepared. Know what you want, why you want it and why you deserve it.
As awesome as this shower scene from The Rock was…don’t let it be a reenactment of the conversation with your boss.
- Why do you want this promotion? Is it the increased responsibility? Is it a more challenging role? Think of a good reason other than more-fucking-money.
- Why do you deserve the promotion? You should have a list of ways you have went over and above your current role and if possible how you have already been handling responsibilities of the position you want.
- Resist the urge to compare yourself to others. The tendency is to look at your peers who have been promoted and say “why not me?”. Personally, I like to keep the conversation focused on me. You can’t control other people’s situations so leave them out of the conversation. The decision to promote you or not should be based purely on your own merits.
Be Aggressive (Within Reason)
This doesn’t mean you should be an asshole or rude, but you need to make your point and let your boss know that you’re serious. People often approach this awkward conversation casually out of fear of upsetting their boss by pushing too hard. Don’t do that. There’s a time to be casual with your boss: “how was your weekend?”, “How bout them Patriots?”, “how are your kids (even though I could care less)”, but this is not one of those times. Treat this like a business transaction because that’s what it is.
Be Prepared If Things Don’t Go Your Way
I like to think that if I approach these conversations correctly then all of my cards are on the table. If you got the promotion then that’s great, I’ll assume that reading this article was the reason why and a royalty payment is owed to me. If you didn’t get it, then here are several options.
- Do Nothing. This is kind of the bitch option. You wanted something, they said no and you just took it. Your company knows they own you. You know they own you.
- Propose a “Plan to the Promotion”. So you aren’t ready for the promotion just yet, but you don’t want to go all weapons hot and change companies. Work with your boss to put a plan in place whereby you can check off the remaining boxes so the next time you have a “promote me” conversation, you’re more prepared.
- Create Leverage. Approaching your boss with a competing offer is a powerful way to force their hand. If having the conversation about being promoted is DEFCON 3 then, having it with an offer from another company in your hand is DEFCON 2. You’re not fucking around at this point.
At the end of the day just remember..It’s all about the Benjamins haha jk jk…..
but not really. #getrichordietrying