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How to Ask for a Promotion: 7 Tips

Last updated on: March 02, 2023 11:30 IST
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Just be transparent about what you have been doing in the past year and support your statements with the growth numbers because that's what managers are interested in, advises Varun Sachdeva.

IMAGE: Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Andrea Piacquadio/

You work yourselves into the ground for this time of the year.

Appraisal time!

Isn't it the most-awaited time?

But do you know what the hard part is?

You have worked day and night to prove your worth for a whole year, but when it comes to describing your achievements, you often find yourself in trouble.

The first thing you ask yourself is -- how to initiate the process of promotion.

How to start a difficult conversation with the boss?

The answer is rather simple -- you need to be patient and solidify your case in the eyes of your manager.

1. Talk to your HR manager

Appraisal time is indeed the best time to ask for a promotion. But you need to first understand if promotion is really on the table or not.

There are times when companies struggle with losses. And sometimes, they are only able to reach the break-even point.

So it's always wise to talk to the HR manager if the opportunity to get to the next level is there.

2. Research, talk to peers

Another important step to asking for a promotion is to research a bit more about how promotion actually works in your company.

There are some ground rules that companies follow while considering an employee eligible for a promotion.

Taking information from peers about their cases, then learning more about the next level you want to get promoted to is always a better strategy.

Find out how your team-mates built their cases to get a successful promotion.

3. Be prepared for evaluation

With that being said, appraisal time can sometimes be tricky for promotion.

Imagine, you are at least thinking about a certain percentage of appraisal but when you start the talk with your manager for promotion then your chances to get evaluated increase even more.

One small mistake can turn your case upside down.

4. List your achievements

The next thing is to start building your case with the help of data.

A report that details down your last year's achievements and downfalls will help you highlight your case for promotion amid the appraisal season.

Explaining the hard work with a mere statement could weaken the case.

Supporting your appeal with numbers and defining the company's growth with your contribution is the best way to show your worth.

There are times when you are already indulged in the activities you are asking to be promoted to. But is your manager aware of it?

Put all the numbers together to show how prepared you are for the next level.

5. Have a formal discussion with your manager

Once you have your performance memo handy, start the real discussion with your manager.

Shed light on your achievements around the year and how they have impacted the company's overall growth.

Now the key here is to be transparent about your performance and actually prove how serious you are about the next step of your career. And to do that, talking just about achievements is not enough.

Talk about your failures as well, but that's not just it.

Discuss your failures and then also describe what steps you took to overcome those shortcomings.

Another hot tip here would be to support each statement with your weekly highlights.

6. Upskill to stay relevant

And now that you are concluding your conversation, it's best to point out one of the most important aspects of 2023.

We all know that upskilling is very crucial for organiSations.

Most organisations have already introduced in-house upskilling and reskilling courses.

So talking about how you are preparing yourself for the future shows that you are proactive enough to keep up with the upcoming trends.

This can be a great opportunity to convince your manager that are you ready for the next step in your career.

7. Be specific about your goals and future

Appraisal season is the best time to get yourself promoted.

Being specific about what you want and how serious you are will help you land a decent promotion with a good salary raise.

There's not much you can do. Just be transparent about what you have been doing in the past year and support your statements with the growth numbers because that's what managers are interested in.

Business! Talk about how efficiently you have contributed toward business goals.

Lastly, don't shy away from talking about the ideas you have in mind for the future.

Varun Sachdeva is APAC Recruitment & Business Leader at NLB Services.
He has led workforce management and RPO initiatives by annually hiring over 10K professionals and managing operations worth up to $50 million.
Varun has also facilitated the establishment of global shared service centres for several companies and been featured at HR conferences, university lectures and HR tech platforms.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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