Dec 15, 2015

    Snag yourself that promotion

    IT'S the time of year for performance appraisals and you feel your work deserves some airtime.

    However, though you feel your role in the company is unique, there's no clear career path. Or you have been working in a role that you have mastered for some time but it appears there is no logical place to go.

    Pitching a promotion can be stressful, especially if you do not understand the process. Here are the steps you can take to identify opportunities for growth and to pitch a promotion or the creation of a new role.


    You want to be taken seriously when you make that pitch, so gather information to demonstrate that you are worthy of a step-up and to explain why you think you deserve it.

    List your key accomplishments and contributions, including important projects you have worked on. Have you saved the organisation money or increased revenues?

    Be sure to include the hard numbers as well. When building your case for a promotion, be as specific as possible because you want to be seen as someone who is exceptional.

    Additionally, choose the position that you have your eyes on - you want to be proactive and not leave things up to chance.

    If there are no positions in the current organisation structure, think of one that the company can create, giving your boss a compelling reason for him or her to do so. Show how the new position aligns with the overall goals of the organisation and how you are qualified to perform in the role.


    There will never be a perfect occasion to pitch a promotion, but you want to get at least the timing right. For instance, you do not want to ask for a bigger pay during the busiest period when everyone is overwhelmed and overburdened with work.

    Take the time to get to know and understand who your boss is to get the timing right. If she just returned from her honeymoon, it may be a good time to pitch the promotion. If she just lost an account that's important to the company, it is probably not a good time to talk about a promotion.

    However, if there is something major always going on inside the company, don't delay it for too long; just pick a time.


    Now that you have decided on timing, tell your boss that you would like to meet with her. Let her know that you would like to have a career conversation to discuss your performance and potential.


    Before the meeting, you want to know how much a position similar to the one you are pitching pays.

    Gather salary information from at least three independent sources. PayScale and are two great places to get salary information and the big recruitment and staffing companies have information on salary benchmarks.

    Know your worth but do not mention any numbers until you have been offered the promotion.

    As part of your research, talk to friends who have successfully pitched a promotion to get tips. Customise what you learn to your boss' personality. Practice pitching to family and friends.


    It's unlikely that your boss will offer you the promotion during the meeting. She will likely want to think about it and, perhaps, consult superiors if a new position is being created.

    Make sure you know what will happen and by when. If you get the promotion, it's time to celebrate. If you didn't get the promotion, do not end the conversation. Talk to your boss to find out why you were declined and what you can do differently next time.

    Now that you know the steps to pitch a promotion, get the process started if you think you deserve a promotion.


    What comes after the coveted promotion? How do you not only survive but thrive in your new role?

    You'll need to identify the steps you have to take to benefit the organisation, your colleagues and yourself.

    What got you to where you are today will not necessarily get you to where you need to be tomorrow.

    Chances are that the activities that you performed in the job you are vacating were very different from the official job description. If that is indeed the case, rewrite the job description then offer to spend a few weeks coaching the person who is taking over from you.

    This does two things - you are helping to develop another person so they can succeed in the role and you are making sure that you are able to leave the position behind so you can focus on your new role.

    Meet with your new manager to identify the goals and objectives for your new role and the critical success factors. In the meeting, try to ferret out any unwritten expectations of the job.

    Based on the meeting and the information that you collect, create your 90-day plan then discuss it with your boss and make any necessary refinements. After you have finalised your 90-day plan, be sure to execute it with fervour and energy.

    In addition, schedule meetings with your colleagues and subordinates to get the lay of the land. Find out what they expect from you and how you can assist them in achieving their goals. Let them know what you expect from them as well. Create an atmosphere to get and give regular feedback to prevent any miscommunication while building harmony.

    Finally, find balance by taking care of yourself so that you are able to continue to deliver impeccable results for your employer. Establish the number of hours you are willing to work and communicate it to your boss. In other words, draw your line in the sand.

    This article was contributed by career consultancy Right Management and recruitment company ManpowerGroup Singapore.