When you're ready to reach for a promotion, four things will need to fall into place at the same time: 1.) You'll have a position to step into. If there's only one manager above you and she isn't leaving any time soon, it won't matter how ready you are– You'll need to make a lateral move or convince your company to create another position. 2. ) Your boss will believe that you're ready. 3.) You will believe you're ready, and 3.) if there are several people in line for the role, you'll have an edge that will push you ahead of your competitors.
Some of these factors are under your control and some aren't, but if you can answer yes to all of the questions below, it's time to arrange an appointment with your boss and make your desires known.
1. Have you held your current position for at least six months?
You can ask for a raise or promotion any time you like, but your request will make more sense and will be more likely to result in a "yes" if you've had plenty of time to prove your abilities in your current role. At a minimum, this may happen in six months. On average, the time it takes to master a given role and reach for the next rung of the ladder will be about two years.
2. Have you been laying the groundwork by establishing social connections?
Your employer will be more likely to grant your request if she knows something about you and considers you a friend. You can also weave a strong social network around yourself by forming connections with others and building a reputation for being personable, flexible, civilized, and professional. Making friends can always help you, no matter who these friends are or where they stand in the company hierarchy.
3. Have you been showing respect for the company, its policies, its clients, and its business model?
It's not easy to reach for a promotion if you don't respect the company you work for. If you don't believe in this business and you don't think this product or service has much redeeming value, this will show, no matter how hard you work to keep it to yourself. And you probably won't get an excited reaction when you ask for greater levels of responsibility. The same will apply if you tend to reject or ignore things like dress codes, safety policies, and break period policies. (If you truly don't respect your employer, it's time to stop thinking about a promotion and find another job.)
4. Do you have alternative options in mind?
It's never a good idea to ask for something or open a negotiation process when you're holding zero cards in your hand. If you have no idea what you'll do in the event of a "no", don't start the discussion just yet. Have a back-up plan in mind. Be ready to ask for a list of items and skills you need but don't have, and be ready to start polishing your resume and looking elsewhere for work if your request is denied more than once.
Don't Let a Weak Resume Hold You Back
Before you make your next career move, make sure your resume is polished and complete and make sure it presents you at your best. Visit MyPerfectResume for help.