Asking for a Promotion

Asking for a Promotion

We receive a lot of questions from clients and readers about ways to excel in their careers. In this blog, we’ll be responding to a specific question shared by one of our readers on the topic of promotion and how to ask for it.

The question reads: “I am a person who apologizes and fails to communicate what I am thinking. I worry about asking for more at work and fear that they will replace me. I’ve also been told by one of the people in my office that I am overpaid. It made me so angry and insulted, as our office achieved its goals last year! How do you think I should approach this situation?”

So, I’ve got a couple of thoughts about this situation. First, let’s start with the fear of asking for more. This is something that I hear all the time from women, especially in the workplace! We tend to fear asking for more because we are afraid of losing what we already have. In my experience, when we find ourselves asking or wanting to ask for more, it is usually because what we have might not be satisfactory to us. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be making the request in the first place. The big question then is, how do we move past this fear?

Moving Past Your Fair.

In the workplace, I think the most important thing you can do when asking for anything is to align what you are requesting with the value that you bring to the business. It is very important that everyone you work with, especially those in positions of power, understand what your role is and how the things you do every day in your work affects the bottom line. It can be very risky to assume that everybody knows.

For example, a receptionist answering the telephone all day sees their role as being very important because they understand the significance of what they do. However, merely understanding the significance of your role is not enough; it is equally if not more important to be able to articulate and connect your contribution as a receptionist to the core values of the business and what the business needs to operate successfully. Instead of saying, “I answer the phone every day,” you can say, “I answer the phone, providing accurate, friendly, and efficient communication for our clients, allowing them to feel valued and satisfied. By maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction, my role as the primary point of contact directly contributes to customer retention and confidence in our brand, which translates to X outcome within the organization”. So, make sure that what you do is connected to the business’ core values, needs, and mission.

Dailygreatness Success at Work - Dailygreatness USA

Things to Consider When Requesting More.

When you need to ask for more, whether that’s a raise, a promotion, a bonus, or more opportunities, have the conversation in the context of value and where your organization needs to move next. What are the priorities? What are the objectives? What are the goals? How does your work align with helping your organization meet those goals? When you do that, then the value of your job, your presence, and your role become more clear and easier to articulate. If you’re asking for greater compensation, I think it’s important to understand the lay of the land. What are the industry standards2 in terms of salary? Where do you fall within the reference range of your organization? What is a fair salary that makes sense, that would bring you in line with your peers and keep you motivated and well compensated? What is fair? I think it’s important to answer all of these so that you can begin to fully understand and be honest about the value that you bring.

Being Comfortable with Your Value.

In the question submitted by our reader, they mentioned that their office met its goals for the year. A great follow-up to this information would be to then ask yourself, “what did I do to help my office meet those goals?”. Once you feel very comfortable with your own value, I think the fear of asking for more begins to dissipate. Once that fear is gone, you go into the conversation again, tying your work to the value and the goals of your organization and armed with information about what is fair, what the industry standard is, and the general expectation among your peers of how they would be compensated.

There’s lots more to say on negotiating for our needs within the context of the workplace, but how do we handle negotiations within the context of our home and relationships? Check out The Negotation Thought Guide, a 3 modules mini-course perfect for every woman who wants to get the most out of her negotiations. Click the LINK for more details!