Asking for a promotion is even more difficult than asking for a raise. That’s because you have to demonstrate not only that you have the skills to handle the new position, but also that leaving your current job won’t hurt either your boss or the company. The secret is to prepare two plans of action: one for the new position and one for your current job. Don’t fall back on seniority or hierarchy to make your case – they don’t hold water in today’s business world. Focus on your proven ability to do the job and emphasize that you’re ready to move up. One other essential. Make sure to present your case as soon as possible, preferably before an outside search has begun.
Attitude: Look on this not as something you’re owed for past services, but as an opportunity you’ve shown you’re ready for. There are no entitlements in today’s workplace.
Preparation: Draft two formal memos – one outlining what you’d do in the first ninety days in the new job and another explaining how you’d assist whoever takes over your current position. In addition, have in mind potential replacements for your position.
Timing: It is absolutely essential to stake your claim to the job as soon as you hear it’s available. Consider dropping hints and spreading the word informally, if you can do it without looking pushy. The more time that passes, the less your chances of landing the job.
Behaviour: Accept compliments and constructive criticism gracefully, but don’t hesitate to argue around these points by directing the conversation to your strengths rather than to your weaknesses.
- Acknowledge you’ve heard there’s an opening, state your qualifications, and ask directly to be considered for the job.
- Respond to arguments for going outside by demonstrating how you can bring fresh approach – at a lower cost.
- Don’t let your success be used against you. Offer to work with your replacement.
- Claims that you don’t have sufficient seniority can be met by showing how your time, while short, has been intensive, and by showing exactly what is necessary to do the job.
- Be prepared to forgo a raise – at least until you’ve proven yourself.
- Have a memo ready outlining your plans.