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How do you approach your boss for a promotion?

New to the IT field.

technology tech computer-science intern

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Subject: Career question for you

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9 answers

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Carrie’s Answer

I love that you're asking this question - when I'm encouraging people to negotiate for pay increases or promotions my first bit of advice is always, "the answer will never be 'yes' if you never ask the question."

That said, approaching this conversation with a manager is not always easy and timing is everything. You need to be sure you're due for a promotion -how long have you been in the role (usually promotions won't come within the first year or even two)? Are you consistently exceeding expectations? Have you been receiving regular and positive performance reviews?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, bring proof in your conversation with your manager. Sharing results, showing your impact, reminding your manager of your performance are all points that you'll want to bring up when asking for a promotion. And be receptive to feedback and insights your manager shares during this conversation as well; your manager may not give you an immediate yes (chances are they will need some time to plan for this), so use this conversation as an opportunity to ask for direct feedback on what you can do and improve to be ready when it does come time for promotions.

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Dave’s Answer

It's really important to be prepared for this kind of chat. Promotion isn't automatic because you've done the job you were hired for, it's based on your doing that while showing that you're ready for more responsibility - so think about taking on projects that are the sorts of things that point to the job you want. What does your group or department need? Volunteer to work on that! The more you can show initiative (while still doing your day-to-day tasks of course), the better your chances.

Before you have that meeting, write down for yourself some notes on what you've done that you think will help you make the case. You could even do your own powerpoint type presentation, even if you never show it to anyone, as it'll be very helpful to lay out your accomplishments - you may find some holes you think you should fill first.

Think about not only this next step, but where you'd go from that next job - show that you have a career path in mind. Managers love to know that you are thinking ahead.

Good luck!
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K.’s Answer

Assuming you have an established 1:1 with your boss, convey your career path interests. 1 to 5 year plan and beyond. A good boss/manager will have a vested interest in developing you to the benefit of the organization.

Ask and plan what are the steps necessary to get to the next "rung" on the ladder. Are these skills and responsibilities you already demonstrate and have mastered? Or is this an area you need to develop? Gauge and determine what skills and responsibilities are required for the promotion. You need to fully understand this in order to develop a strong case for your advancement. Build a roadmap and determine where you are, how you got there, and what will it take to get to your destination if you haven't already.

Share this plan and evidence with your manager and state your case for advancement. It is to your advantage if you can provide evidence that you are already performing some (or all) of the duties of the promoted position.

The key is communication, alignment with your boss, and management of your perceived brand. Build a solid case for your advancement. If you have demonstrated that you all the required skills and experience and that you have already performed the responsibilities, then advancement should not be trivial.

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Dennis’s Answer

Angel it’s always good to speak your mind and in a case like this around the IT Field if you feel you have more than excelled at your job, took on even more responsibility in between and always are resetting your Goals even higher maybe it is a good idea to ask for a promotion an increase in pay that you think would be and is well deserved.

If you do succeed at that I am almost certainly sure it will even motivate you more to work even harder knowing in the Future another increase in pay or promotion could be in the plans.

Good Luck!
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Anil’s Answer

You have sufficient data and work in your favour to support your argument about promotion.

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Animesh’s Answer

Ooh!! That's a brilliant question.

Point number 1 -- First make sure you believe that you actually deserve a promotion.

Point number 2 -- While you think of what you did, make sure that you did it honestly and not with the sole intention to get promoted/recognised.

Point Number 3 -- While i am a firm believer of 'let your work show for itself', it is true that sometimes you would need to push yourself to display what you have worked hard on. So back yourself up to talk to the manager. You deserve to be promoted!! Believe it.

Point Number 4 -- Never expect to be thanked for doing your responsibility. Just make sure that do your job and do it honestly.

Point Number 5 -- When you talk to your boss, make sure that you can show not only how you are good but also how you make others around you look good. If you want data to show it, take it with you. It's not needy. Don't be too detailed though.

Point Number 6 -- Important is while you are asking for promotion, you shouldn't sound like that's the only thing on your mind. Ask for promotion without asking for it. Ask for motivation to make you perform even better.

Go ahead, you got it! You deserve it!

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HanSon’s Answer

The promotion discussion should be something that you plan out just like your annual objectives. Having that conversations upfront with your manager around expectations and goal settings will make the transition into the promotion question more natural. With the appropriate agreement and sign off at the start of the year with measure KPIs, the conversation can be easily supported to ensure there is a founded need for that discussion. Ensure you are hitting your targets throughout the year...consistency is key.
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Ryan’s Answer

Prove yourself via quantifiable data. Once you've had success and a large enough sample size, setup time on your boss' calendar and lay out the data to frame the story of why you have earned a promotion.

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Melanie’s Answer

I find it very beneficial to have a one-on-one conversation with your manager often to discuss your career goals. Expressing your desire to grow in your career will help your manager help you to reach those goals. I also think that when you're having these conversations to ask your manager what are the specific steps to getting yourself to the next level. If you have agreed on steps towards a promotion, there is transparency in what you need to deliver to be qualified for the the next step in your career.