Jo recommends four main steps to take even before you make your request for a promotion:
First, deliver results like a rock star. It should go without saying that if you ask for a promotion without having a well-established track record for knocking it out of the park in your current role, you’ll come across as having an over-inflated sense of self-worth. It could backfire. A great time to ask for a promotion would be after a series of successful nutrition promotions in your store or community or securing of a major partnership with a third party.
2. Be loyal
You should also make it clear that your allegiance is to the business first, and that your own career comes second. Making a commitment to ROI, basket size and customer acquisition are key metrics to track and communicate in your bid for a promotion. Showcase the multitude of ways your programs and services benefit the company. If you plan on climbing the ladder, make sure that ladder is propped against the right building.
3. Know the requirements
I have a friend, who soon after she was promoted to manager, approached her HR business partner, thanked her for the promotion, and asked, “I am interested in becoming a senior manager. What are the requirements?” The HR partner replied, “It takes two years.” My friend thanked the HR partner and returned to her desk.
But later that day she thought, “Hey, wait a minute!” and returned for a follow-up conversation. She politely asked, “What would I need to achieve in those two years?” The HR partner thought about it for a minute and then listed some more specific criteria. My friend went on to achieve the requirements within six months and became one the youngest senior managers at her firm.
The takeaway: Find out the specific requirements of the job you want, whether it means asking HR, your manager, your boss’s boss, or others who have been recently promoted.
4. Make your request.
Once you’ve met the requirements, it’s time to make your request. Here’s a script as a guide:
“I understand the role requires…” (and list the requirements of the role.) Next, say, “I believe I am the ideal candidate for this role because…” (and list the reasons why you meet each of those requirements.)
Now pause, and let the decision-maker respond. If they are in agreement, ask, “What are the next steps to move forward?”
If you sense that they are hesitant or not convinced by your argument, here’s a good follow-up question to ask: “Is there any additional information you need in order to consider me as the ideal person for the position?” Listen carefully to their response and share how you plan to meet those requirements.
About Jo Miller:
Jo Miller is also the creator of the Women’s Leadership Coaching® system, a roadmap for women who want to break into leadership positions in business. Used successfully by thousands of women worldwide, the system identifies the key steps women must take to advance into positions of influence and leadership—especially in industries long considered “a man’s world,” such as technology, finance, and energy. Jo is an internationally sought-after speaker who delivers more than 60 presentations per year to audiences of up to 1,200 for women’s conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives.