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Promotions are how employees move up through the ranks and gain new responsibilities within their position at a company.

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What Is a Promotion?

A job promotion is when an employee is elevated to a higher rank, position, or role within a business or organization because of their exceptional performance. Job promotions are usually accompanied by increased responsibilities or a higher salary. They can raise an employee’s standing in the professional hierarchy and allow them to climb the corporate ladder.

Some new roles may require the promoted employee to work longer hours or adapt a new skill set. In some cases, career advancement opportunities are only available after establishing seniority at the company. In other companies, seniority, exceptional skill, and taking on extra responsibilities are typically the benchmarks for promotion.

How to Ask for a Promotion

If you’ve been working at a company where you’ve significantly impacted the company’s business and/or taken on increased responsibility, it may be time to take your current position to a higher level. If you’ve put in the hard work and deserve to advance your current role, consider the following steps to ask for a promotion.

  1. Consider what you want your new position to look like. You want to have a clear vision of your professional development before you begin discussing any potential opportunities with your manager. Think about what you want out of your new role and how it can benefit the company. Consider your personal career goals and make sure that what you're asking for will aid in your journey to achieve it.
  2. Start an informal dialogue about your progress. Start an informal dialogue with your superior about what the next stage of your career at the company could look like and what it would take to get there. Ask for feedback on your current performance, and get a sense of how you can improve to reach the next level. Make it clear that you’re dedicated to your progress and growth with the company.
  3. Research the new job. If you’re looking to take your current job to the next level, you’ll need to describe how and why you’re the best person to fill the new role. Know all the details of the position and how your skills make you the ideal choice. If you’re interested in a position that already exists, ask the employee leaving the position about the job, their working experience, and any other career advice they may have. If you’re creating a new role for yourself, outline how it can benefit the company as a whole and why you’re the only person for the job.
  4. Outline your track record. You’ll want to make a list of all of your victories in your current job to help advocate for yourself in the promotion process. This will allow you to organize your talking points when it’s time to discuss career growth with your manager. Include all the ways you’ve positively impacted the organization and reference any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on during the time you’ve been working there.
  5. Choose the right time. While there might not be a perfect time to ask for a promotion, some times are better than others. If you have received a glowing annual performance review or had a particularly successful quarter, that might be a more ideal time to request a promotion than right after budget cuts or a round of layoffs.
  6. Be confident. Approach your promotion discussion with confidence. At the end of the day, you’re advocating for yourself. Facilitate an open and honest conversation with your superiors without being confrontational or demanding. A promotion is a way for employers to recognize your value and efforts at a company, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.

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