Asking for a promotion can be seen like a very difficult task but it need not cause you any tension provided you prepare properly.
Get the Facts Straight
First off, check on how the company has been performing lately. It is difficult to make a business case for a promotion when the company is struggling financially. Indications that the company is doing badly are hiring freezes and dropping of extraneous expenditure such as corporate responsibility expenditure.
Secondly, have on hand the facts regarding your last increase, any bonuses received and pertinent performance reviews. Lastly, do some research – what are others in the position you are interested in earning in terms of salary at other companies? What do overall industry norms look like? When did they start working for those companies? How long after being hired did they receive a promotion?
Know what your Value to the Company is
Chances are your boss will ask you why you feel you deserve a promotion. Take the time before approaching them to list the specific ways in which you have contributed to your company’s success.
Where do you Fall Short?
If your boss is not inclined to give you the promotion, these are bound to come up anyway. Has any mention been made in your annual performance review? Have you made any progress in addressing your shortcomings? If you have made a couple of minor infractions, for example being late once or twice, these are unlikely to be an issue. If, however, you have made some really bad slip ups, for example being late on a regular basis, reconsider asking for a raise until you have proven that the issue has been dealt with.
What’s in it for the Business?
You have no doubt heard about making a business case. Your employer is not there to run a charitable organisation; they are there to make money. Promotions for employees come straight off the bottom line and so they will not give you the promotion unless it makes good business sense. Do not bring your personal issues into it – if you are battling to make ends meet, it is not actually your employer’s problem. Stick to facts such as industry standards and performance. You need to make them understand how irreplaceable you actually are.