It’s rare that a promotion comes out of the blue and you are surprised to be told that you will be moving to the next level. If it does, wow! And congratulations! More typically, getting a promotion is a process that involves discussions with your manager to set goals that you need to achieve before you earn a promotion. But what if you are growing frustrated, and your manager seems to be dragging his feet?
Before you ask your boss whether a promotion is imminent, you need to be sure that you have completed all the requirements and you can support the argument that you deserve to go to the next level.
Here are nine signs that you are ready for a promotion and to ascend to the next rung on the ladder.
If you have been working on additional projects or assumed tasks that go beyond your original job description, that’s a good reason that your manager should consider you for a promotion. This is particularly the case if your current role holds more responsibility than your initial job. You should be compensated for that. For example, if your initial role was a member of the sales team, and you are now asked to train new team members, this is an added responsibility that you should be recognized for.
You may feel that you manage your tasks and your time well. You have grown in your job and taken on more responsibilities. Your career path is under control. If you have more responsibilities and are handling them professionally and with proficiency, that is a good reason to ask your boss to consider you for promotion. You have already proven your ability to take on more responsibility, succeeded, and are ready to go even further in your career.
For more on time management, read “8 Tips to Improve Your Time Management Skills”
Your position may be such that your boss relies on you to keep him updated on work issues. Your manager may communicate with you often and consult with you before making decisions. You may act as a proxy for them in meetings or act as a contributor in high-level business situations. If this is the case, you have leverage. You have proven your worth, your boss values you, and you are in a good position to ask them to promote you.
Do people come to you for advice? Do you find yourself acting as a mentor? Do you naturally assume a leadership role in a team, or are you asked to train new hires? If you can show that you are a good leader, you are well-suited for a management role. Have a conversation with your manager about your career path, your leadership skills, and the possibility of being promoted to a management or leadership position.
A good manager knows that employees need motivation to feel engaged with their work. They also need a clear path to advancement, or they may be tempted to look for another job. If you feel that you are lacking new challenges in your current role, you can ask your manager to promote you so that you can assume additional responsibilities.
Ideally, there has been an ongoing conversation with your manager to find ways for you to fulfill expectations and earn a promotion to the next level. A good idea is to prepare yourself for your next job by taking certifications, learning new skills, and consulting with a mentor.
For more on career advancement, read “How to Prepare for a Performance Review.”
Are you often nominated to take on sensitive roles? Do people come to you with their problems and ask for your advice? Does your manager trust you as a decision-maker? If those around you trust you and your competencies, that’s a sure sign that you are valued, which is a good reason to feel confident when you ask your supervisor for a promotion.
When you first step up to a new role, you undoubtedly rely heavily on others to guide you and help you avoid making mistakes. However, at some point, you know your job inside and out and no longer need to rely on others. You are self-sufficient. Now, you are ready to relinquish your current job to another responsible and qualified staff member and move on to bigger and better things. You should feel confident having this conversation with your manager.
A promotion can change a lot more than just your paycheck. Let’s say you are promoted from a sales representative to sales manager. You are now no longer part of your sales team but their leader. Your relationship with your peers will change drastically, and you can no longer be a “friend.”
You will have new responsibilities and additional stress. Also, if you rise to senior management, you will enter a whole new world of politics. Are you ready to navigate it?
Do you have mentors who you can ask for guidance in your new role? Do you have a strong support network that will buoy you as you climb up the learning curve and inevitably make mistakes? Make sure you are at a good point in your life and have the resources to cope with the challenges of professional development and a new position.
Related: “11 Ways to Succeed as a First-Time Manager”
Ideally, your path to promotion has been an ongoing discussion during performance reviews between you and your manager. These discussions should include setting goals and requirements that you need to achieve in your current position before being considered ready for a promotion.
However, even when you have achieved your goals and fulfilled expectations, you may still be waiting for that promotion. Worse, your manager might move the goalposts so that you become increasingly frustrated despite your hard work. These nine guidelines are indicators that you are ready to move to a higher level. Use them to build a case to present to your supervisor.
Your manager knows that they risk losing valued employees if they do not recognize their achievements or compensate them fairly. If your employer continues to drag its feet where a well-earned promotion is concerned, consider consulting with a professional career counselor for career advice and moving to a new job that can offer you advancement.