How to ask for a promotion

Asking for a promotion can be one of the most nerve-racking activities in our professional lives, but it is integral to the progression of our career. Which is why Supply Management Jobs have put together these top tips on how to ask for that all important step up.

How to ask for a promotion

Whatever stage you are at in your procurement career, you’re bound to have some jitters before entering into a conversation about your progression. Sometimes, these conversations are instigated by our managers - incredible, half the work is already done for us! But, the difficulty arises when you have to bring this to your manager’s attention.

So, if you’re thinking about having that conversation, we note some key things you need to do to prepare.

Our top tips on how to ask for a promotion

Do your homework

When asking for a promotion, it’s important that you do your homework before entering into any conversations. You will need to prove why you deserve a promotion, including specific examples and stats that you can share to highlight the value you add to the team and company.

Make a list of all of your accomplishments, and back it up with figures. Procurement ties into key financial decisions, so you can often align a monetary value to the work that you have done. Whether you managed to save the organisation £6,000 with that new contract or increased efficiencies throughout the procurement process, it’s important to have all the information at your fingertips so you can draw upon it to answer any difficult questions. The key here is that you don’t only want to show that you’ve been doing your current job well, but that you have the capability to take that step up and have gone above and beyond to deliver results.

Identify the position

Of course, you also will need to identify the position that you would like to move up into. Do a little soul searching and decide what kind of role you would like. What responsibilities would it ideally include and is there a need for that role within your current team? It may be that you can angle your promotion as being of real benefit to your manager and fill some gaps in the team.

Once you’ve identified the position you’d like, set about proving how you would be a good fit for the role. What experience have you already accumulated? How have you demonstrated the skills you’ll need in your current role? Ensure that your arguments are concrete to ensure you’re seen as the best person for the job.

Choose the right time

Don’t rush into conversations about your progression. If the team has just made a number of redundancies, then now is not the right time. Neither is if your manager has just returned from maternity leave. If your team or department are currently undergoing a lot of changes, then it might not be the best time to ask.

That being said, there is no absolute right time to raise the subject. But, there are some points in time that might make the process easier, such as during your progress review or when annual salary reviews are taking place. At these times, your manager is already primed and ready to be making decisions about your progress and/or current salary.

However, if you’re ready for a promotion at another time in the year, don’t be put off. Organisation now understand the value of retaining their employees, and will likely be open to a discussion.

Ask for the meeting

If your desire to step up does not coincide with a progress review, then it’s important for you to ask for the meeting. Set up a meeting with your manager, making it clear that you intend to talk about your progression within this meeting. It’s much better to give your manager time to prepare as they will be better placed to give their feedback on your performance and what the company may be able to offer you.

Have a salary in mind

Usually, a promotion is accompanied by a pay rise, which is why it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you enter into conversations with your manager. It may be worth comparing salaries for the position you want to move up into, both at the same company and in similar organisations. That way, you can have a broad view of where you should fall.

You don’t really want to bring up figures until your promotion has been agreed, but it’s good to have an idea so that you have all the information you may need at your fingertips. It will also help when those conversations do turn to money.

Know what happens next

At all stages of the process, you need to ensure you understand what your next steps are. Initially, it may be a second meeting to discuss further after your first conversation. Then, it may be some form of development plan to prove that you have the skills to carry out the duties of your desired position.

Make sure that you are aware of when certain things are going to happen and any deadline you may have as part of a development plan. This way you can keep tabs on the process and push it along where necessary.

What should you do if your promotion does not materialise?

There are many factors as to why a promotion may never materialise. Whether it is budget constraints, business demands or a discrepancy between where you think you’re at and where your manager sees you.

These conversations are undoubtedly very difficult to have, but it is always worth getting to the bottom of why your promotion has not materialised. If it is a budget or business issue, try to get an idea of how long it may take and whether your manager supports your wish to progress. If you don’t like the answer, it might be worth looking elsewhere for a more senior position.

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