How to Get a Promotion, Raise Before Asking Your Boss

  • Career coaches shared what you can do to get a raise or promotion before you ask for it.
  • One told Insiders to consider it an ongoing campaign rather than a one-off request.
  • They advised how to track your performance in your current role and communicate it to managers.

Asking for a promotion and a raise can lead to a difficult conversation, with some employees even turning to ChatGPT to create scripts to follow. But it doesn’t have to end in a meetup, according to two career coaches who spoke to Insider about how best to present yourself.

Niamh O’Keeffe, leadership consultant and author of “Get Promoted,” said it’s best to think of a promotion as a campaign rather than just asking.

Rather than entering into negotiations directly, O’Keeffe suggested telling your manager that you would like a promotion later that year and asking what it would take to get it.

She said it’s wrong to think you deserve a promotion just because a certain amount of time has passed. Threatening to quit with anger — if an employee suddenly leaves out of frustration — won’t strengthen your case, she added. She said her frustration may be justified, but “that’s not how the recipient will take it.”

Sam DeMase, founder of career coaching company Power Mood, also warned against “blinding” your boss.

She suggested telling them before each meeting, “I want to talk to them about my career growth and compensation,” to ensure you give them time to prepare.

These are the steps DeMase and O’Keeffe said you should follow once you’ve signaled your intentions to lay the foundation for success.

1. Research what kind of raise a promotion could mean

If your employer offers you a promotion without a raise, that’s not a promotion, O’Keeffe said. However, it can be difficult to figure out how much extra money to charge.

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DeMase suggested asking colleagues who have a role similar to the one they want how much they’re being paid.

She suggested telling them, “I aspire to reach that level and I want to make sure I’m paid fairly. Would you mind sharing your base?”

Otherwise, she advised looking for similar roles on and LinkedIn to get a sense of what to expect.

A good negotiating strategy is to start by asking for a higher salary than expected, DeMase said.

“Nine times out of 10 they hit you somewhere in the middle, so you want to go a little bit higher,” she added.

2. Find out who makes decisions and has influence besides your boss

Just because your manager oversees your day-to-day work doesn’t mean they have the final say over your salary or position.

“You should think about who is actually making the decision and try to build relationships with the decision makers and influencers,” O’Keeffe said. That could be your manager’s boss, but she advised against limiting your “campaign” to upper management.

She also said colleagues at the same level as you could be useful allies. You might notice yourself volunteering to lead tasks and start treating you as a leader or start following a direction you set that managers may pick up on.

3. Keep a log of your achievements that you can use as a business case

When you start a new job, you should make a “brag list” — a list of how you’ve made your business a success, DeMase said.

“You want to be as clear as possible about how your specific impact has positively impacted the company’s goals,” she said, whether it’s team building or attracting new clients.

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She suggested comparing your job description to your “bragging slip” to show where you are at a higher level than your current position requires.

She added that the timing of your promotion call “should depend on your own success.” If you’re putting together your boast sheet and realize you don’t have enough accomplishments to make your case, you should wait until you’re ready, DeMase said.

O’Keeffe suggested planning your approach so that you ask for a promotion immediately after you’ve achieved something tangible for the company, such as a job. B. the acquisition of new customers.

4. But present your future potential as well as past achievements

It can be tempting to talk about your accomplishments, but promotions aren’t “rewards” for good work, O’Keeffe said — they’re “investments” your employer could make in your future potential.

“The person making the decision is paying you extra money or giving you extra responsibility based on a belief that you could do something and accomplish something,” she added.

Show you’re ready to rise to a higher position, O’Keeffe said. She added that people miss out on promotions because they haven’t shown they can think strategically, which is often required in senior positions.

There are things you can do to give yourself the opportunity, like ask your boss if you can take a strategy course, O’Keeffe said.

Or start using words and phrases associated with strategic thinking in meetings, such as: B. “We need to step back and think about the bigger picture.”

It’s also critical that you demonstrate your leadership skills, O’Keeffe said, even if you don’t lead anyone in your current role. “When a new person joins the team, you could volunteer to take care of them for the first 100 days and make a mini-project out of it,” she suggested. Or think about what you could take off your boss’s plate and own, she added.

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5. Think about how the company is doing when deciding how to schedule it

It’s important to look at what’s happening at your company, O’Keeffe said.

Right now, tech giants are announcing layoffs amid predictions of a global recession.

If your company just announced layoffs or budget cuts, it might be better to wait three months before asking for a promotion, she said.

But layoffs could mean your employer is asking you to take on more work or responsibility, and so it might be an appropriate time to ask for a promotion and a raise, DeMase said.

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