How to Make your Case for a Promotion
promotion? Let me guess the response.
I estimate that over 80% to 90% of individuals never ask for a
promotion and of those who ask over 95% don’t plan enough before
pitching for it. Considering what’s at stake, it is surprising that so
many individuals don’t have a robust plan to achieve their career
If you have repeatedly lost a promotion to a not-so-good contender, it
may be time to conduct an honest self assessment and develop a solid
career management strategy.
Consider the following strategies:
Define the goal, first
Before pitching for a
promotion, it is absolutely critical to define
your next step. Do you want to move to a leadership position? Are you
seeking to add project management skills to your portfolio? Is it just
a jump in the title? Is it about the money? Are your short term goals
in sync with your long term career strategy? Get it?
Once you are clear on the direction, conduct a thorough analysis of
the skills required for the target promotion. Is there a gap between
what is needed and what you have to offer? If so, develop a
comprehensive strategy to close the gap. Training and professional
development, voluntary projects, part time jobs, cross-functional
collaboration, working under a mentor -- there are a number of ways in
which you can enrich your portfolio.
Evaluate employer dynamics
If you can demonstrate how you will make a positive contribution
toward the employer’s goals, it is very likely that your request will
be well-received. Evaluate the company’s overall direction and
position. Where is the company headed? What are the employer’s needs?
Is someone from the division leaving? Are you a good fit? Does your
case have merit?
At times, individuals can recommend creating a new position -- and I
have seen it happen many times -- by demonstrating how it will benefit
Prepare the foundation
Don’t take it for granted that all your accomplishments will be
noticed by key players. At times, you may have to flaunt your career
accomplishments in order to prepare the foundation for your case. This
is certainly true if you are consistently producing stellar results.
Drop in subtle hints to the employer whenever you achieve a victory.
It could be as simple as writing an e-mail saying, “Thank you for your
support … I was able to accomplish XYZ … couldn’t have done it without
all the guidance.”
Establish a solid relationship with key stakeholders within the
organization. Feedback from immediate bosses and supervisors can
provide valuable pointers, especially for overcoming the missing
Showcase past accomplishments, describe future benefits
When you are pitching for a promotion, discuss how you have made
positive contributions in the past and how you can continue the trend
-- and do even better -- by being in a position of higher authority.
Seek endorsements, build alliances
When a neutral person makes a comment about you, it is much more
credible than if you were to toot your own horn. Everyone from team
members to peers to subordinates can serve as valuable allies and
endorsers when you are making your case for a promotion.
Create a dynamite resume
resume that conveys a solid value proposition. Provide solid
career accomplishments and a strong message that would influence the
decision maker to consider you over the competition.
Winning the career war
Career Growth: Strategies For Achieving Career
Grow Your Network: Strategies To Expand Your
Nimish Thakkar is a sought-after certified
career management coach. He has helped thousands of clients, including
professionals at Fortune 500 companies, through cutting-edge career
management tools. Thakkar has authored hundreds of articles and is
regularly invited to speak on a wide range of career-related issues.
Nimish edits and manages a
free career information site,
SaiCareers.com, and is the CEO of a
professional resume writing service,