Posted on January 18 2023
When a new year rolls around, it's always a good time to evaluate where you stand within your company. Asking for a promotion can be scary and nerve inducing, but it’s definitely worth it because it can lead to great rewards (more money, more responsibility and more perks.)
This is especially important for professional women. In 2019, McKinsey and LeanIn surveyed over 68,500 employees in North America about their first promotion to management. They found that for every 100 men getting their first promotion, just 72 women are promoted. A 2021 Psychology Today article also revealed a survey of 2,000 finance industry professionals where 76% of men were offered promotions without requesting one, compared to 57% of women.
While we await systematic changes to overcome unconscious bias when it comes to promotion, we also want to encourage more women to ask for the promotion you deserve.
We tapped into Elizabeth Lewis, Founder and CEO of Brand, Style & Bloom to list of some tips on how to do it effectively:
- Think about what you want
In order to know what kind of promotion you want to ask for, it helps to do some reflection beforehand. What do you desire—a similar role to the one you have now but with increased managerial responsibility? A promotion to another department that you believe is more suited to your skillset/can help you gain skills you want? Or do you not really care if you’re promoted and you simply want more money? Get clear on what you want so that you can have an effective conversation with your manager and they can leave with a clear understanding of what you’re asking for.
Once you have gained more clarity on what you want, do your research on what skills your desired role requires (don’t worry, you don’t need to already possess every single one) and what your desired salary is. For salary intel, Glassdoor is a great resource! Also check out salaries for equivalent roles at your company’s competitors to have an idea of what typical pay is in your industry.
- Know why you’re qualified
Why are you qualified for the role you’re asking for? Do you possess a majority of the skills required (again, it doesn’t need to be all of them), or do you have only a few of the skills required but the ones you do have are fairly unique? If you can’t find a job description of the role you desire, meet with colleagues you trust who are in those roles and ask them directly what skills are important to their roles so that you can show why you’re already qualified when you meet with your manager.
Also, keep a list of your recent key accomplishments to share as part of your conversation and summarize endorsements from colleagues you work with closely who are in a variety of levels and functions. In most roles, leadership skills are important and endorsements like these can help to showcase your leadership abilities.
- Consider your timing
The timing of your ask is important. You do not want to have done all of the work above for nothing! I wouldn’t recommend asking your boss for a promotion after a particularly bad quarter for your division, etc. But do consider asking when you have just aced a key project or if future revenues for your company have a stable or growing outlook.
- Believe you deserve it
Confidence is key. If you don’t believe you deserve a promotion, chances are that doubt will come across and no one else will, either. Admittedly, asking for a promotion can be nerve-wracking (even if you know you deserve one). But don’t let those nerves stop you from making the ask. You can practice in front of a friend or mentor first to cool your nerves. But just know--what we don’t ask for, we often don’t get!
And if you need an extra dose of style confidence, consider wearing a pair of ALLY shoes. They are chic, comfortable, and ready for business! Use code EL50 to score $50 off your purchase.