Browse Adzuna Career Tips »

How to Get a Promotion

Excellent idea concept (2)

Everyone wants to climb the ladder, but getting that next promotion is always a challenge. If you think you’re up to it, though, then so are we.

One academic study in the US found that those promoted from inside an organisation fared better than external candidates brought in ahead of them. So if you already have your knees under the table, things are looking up. You probably understand your organisation’s culture better. You may even know and have worked with the person who’ll have the final say. Take advantage of this and cultivate your working relationship ahead of the big ask.

If you’re reaching for the next rung and need a helping hand, here are our top tips for bagging a promotion.

  • Be friendly – Know who it is who does the promoting and make sure you’re in their good books before you ask. Don’t make it too obvious though, not even teacher likes a teacher’s pet.
  • Don’t ask for the earth – Asking for a promotion is one thing, asking for a pay rise and extra privileges at the same time might not be a good idea. Emphasise that it’s about the new challenges and additional responsibilities rather than the kudos which comes with it. The raise and perks will probably follow of their own accord.
  • Aim high, but not too high – Don’t fall foul of Icarus Syndrome. Trying to vault two rungs on the ladder in one go is pushing your luck. Take promotions one step at a time.
  • Have supporting evidence – Make sure that you have plenty of facts and figures to back up your request. They want concrete examples of how you’ve surpassed yourself in this role and deserve more responsibility. Have a list of your biggest successes and really upsell them.
  • Acquire new skills before you ask – It shows self-motivation and desire to succeed. After you’ve put your CV into the ValueMyCV tool and found out how much your current skills are worth, add to them. The more value you add to your skillset, the harder you are to turn down.
  • Bring them a good idea – If you’ve seen an area of the business which needs improving, they need to hear about it. Tell them what you could do to turn things around. Put across how much you want to take ownership of your bright idea, but don’t sulk if they seem underwhelmed.

Whatever you do, don’t try and wing it with no preparation. In the weeks before you ask for a promotion go above and beyond and please everyone, all of the time. Pick your moment carefully, have your facts to hand and self-promote sensibly. Stick to these golden rules and the next rung’s within reach.