Tips for asking for a promotion at work

work promotion tips

Work promotion tips from a career coaching expert

Top Sydney career counsellor and executive coach, Tina Monk, was recently contacted by Pedestrian TV for an article they were writing about how to ask for a promotion at work. Below is a summary of Tina’s top tips regarding how to prepare for the meeting and approach your boss with the view of success.  We’ve also included tips on how to deal with rejection if you’re not successful (this time).

Are you ready for a promotion?

Before seeking that promotion, you should ask yourself whether you’re in a position to take on the role.

Self-reflect and honestly assess your own skills. Start with your job description and give yourself a scaled rating for your level of competence in each area. Be realistic here as this is not the time to play the modesty card.

Next, look at your recent performance reviews and the ratings you have given yourself.  You can get more objective feedback by looking at the ratings that your direct manager has given you if you respect their feedback.

For more objectivity, ask co-workers to assess you too. You may prefer them to do this anonymously so their feedback is honest and constructive.


Before approaching your manager or boss, it’s important to research typical salaries in your field.

There are plenty of published resources and websites like Live Salary or Glassdoor can also be useful.

Factors such as education, qualifications and experience may alter your salary from the median published for your field.

Consider the number of years you’ve been working in the field, your education and qualifications, and the length of time you’ve worked for your current employer. You should even take the location of your job into account. Jobs in major cities, for instance, usually pay more than ones in regional centres and small towns.

Make a list of your accomplishments over the past twelve months plus any additional responsibilities that you have taken on. Give them an actual figure that you have in mind for the desired increase.

Tina suggests giving them a range to show your willingness to negotiate.

Approaching your boss

OK, so you’ve determined you deserve a promotion and are qualified to take on the role.

When you approach your boss, stay relaxed and confident. Speak slowly, have open body language – no crossed arms – and avoid getting defensive or angry. Cool, confident and convincing should be your mantra, and you should aim to be strong, yet reasonable.

Don’t overstate your case! Name your terms and avoid repeating yourself too much. Listen carefully to their side and be willing to compromise.

Follow Tina’s promotion tips and you’ll be more likely to succeed.

When is the best time to ask for a promotion?

Believe it or not, there are actually good and not so good times to talk money in the workplace. Mondays are bad, Fridays are good. Traditionally, mornings are always better.

In terms of timing, it’s good to ask for a raise when you have just finished a challenging project and can point to this and other achievements over the past twelve months.

If the company is going through difficult financial times, obviously, this won’t bode well for a successful outcome.

Dealing with promotion rejection

It’s always hard when you put yourself out there and are knocked back. It’s important to remember however that it doesn’t mean you’ll never get the promotion.

What you could do is ask your manager for a deadline for when you can discuss the issue again, say in three months time. Ask them for feedback on what you could be doing differently that would lead them to consider a salary increase.

For more tips on how to ask for a promotion, contact Tina direct on 0413 000 010.
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Read this article on the Pedestrian TV website »

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