7 Things To Know About Going for an Internal Promotion

By Alicia Geigel on May 9, 2023

In the workplace, many people opt to stay in the same position for years out of fear of potentially being rejected for seeking a promotion. While getting promoted isn’t the easiest of things to do, it is absolutely possible, especially if you have been with a specific company for an extended period of time and constantly demonstrate a desire to improve and advance your skills or responsibilities.

If you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder, here is everything you should know about going for an internal promotion, and the steps you need to take to do so!

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1. Determine What You Want: Arguably the most important step in seeking an internal promotion is first figuring out exactly what you want to secure as you go through the process. You may want a pay raise, more responsibility on the job, a lateral move, or a move up from your current position. An important part of the process is reflecting and searching within yourself to really find what motivates and inspires you in the workplace, and go after what fulfills those goals in a meaningful way. Additionally, this part of the process will give you a clear idea of how to ask for what you want.

2. Draw Inspiration From Other Promoted People: What better way to get promoted than to emulate and draw inspiration from people you’ve worked with that have also been promoted? While your personal characteristics, traits, and skills are uniquely yours and special in their own way, you can benefit from studying recently promoted coworkers to determine what will set you apart from others. A blog post by Indeed recommends, “Look for common personality traits, achievements, and habits among those who have successfully been promoted. These observations may give you a better understanding of what you need to do to get a promotion yourself.”

3. Improve Your Skills: Sometimes you can’t simply rely on the current skills you have to get the promotion of your dreams. In most cases, it is a great idea to improve your skills in order to not only stand out against workplace competitors but also get a better understanding of the tasks and responsibilities of the job position you are trying to secure. Tejas Vemparala of Business News Daily notes, “Online lessons in soft skills, like leadership and communication, can prepare you for the next level. You can also learn specific hard skills for your next role, such as training in the software that the company uses.”

4. Gather Feedback from Supervisors: Your supervisors are your first point of contact and resource for all knowledge regarding promotions. If you want to know what it will take to get from your current position to the one you want to be promoted to, your supervisors are the best people to ask, as they can give feedback to help you improve in areas of weakness and build the skills that are necessary to advance. Kindly ask for feedback from your supervisors by presenting them with any and all accomplishments, experience, responsibilities, awards, etc. that you’ve obtained on the job. This will paint you in the most honest picture and give them a chance to give you a truthful perspective regarding your chances of an internal promotion.

5. Build Your Work Network: In any workplace, having a solid network of connections is not only a meaningful way to make your work experience more positive and pleasant, but it is also a means to help you find new work opportunities and potential promotions. Professional social media pages, like Linkedin, are a great place to start, as you can connect with people that have similar backgrounds, interests, job positions, etc. as you. These mutual connections can point you in the direction of new contacts, job opportunities, etc. Plus, the bigger your network is, the more people you’ll have in your corner to vouch for you when it comes time for references!

6. Ask for the Promotion: Now that you’ve done all the work to prepare for your promotion, it’s time to make the leap and ask for it! Asking for a promotion is no easy feat, and it might take some rehearsing, pep talks, and deep breaths before you have that conversation. Approach the subject gently by asking your supervisor or boss for a quick minute to chat at their convenience. Once your meeting is underway, explain all the ways that you are deserving of the promotion (by not explicitly saying “I deserve to be paid better” or “I deserve X position because…” Rather, open up about your accomplishments and special approach to work, which will speak for themselves.

7. Remember to Be Patient: There is a chance your boss will not give you a definitive answer on the spot regarding a promotion. Don’t panic, sometimes these changes require some kind of approval from a higher-up. Give your supervisor or boss adequate time to discuss the idea with office executives, and be patient throughout the process!

Putting yourself out there and going for a promotion can feel scary, but if you have a clear idea of what you want, build solid relationships with your supervisors and coworkers, and improve your skills, you can put yourself in a position to be promoted!

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