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How to increase your chances of getting a raise or a promotion at work

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

If you work for a large corporation or even an average sized company you can get lost in the crowd unless . . .

Presentation skills

You've worked hard, you've completed undesirable assignments, stayed late, created countless reports; you think it's about time you got that promotion. What's holding you back? Does your work record speak for you? No, not in most cases.

Employees are sometimes mistaken in assuming their manager knows how much work they do. If the work gets done it's often overlooked or quickly forgotten as new tasks come along. So long as you keep up the production your manager stays happy. Does that equate to an automatic raise or promotion? Probably not.

One of my former managers shared something that served me well in the workplace. He stated that most people assume others are familiar with their work history and credentials simply because they themselves are familiar with it. Not necessarily true. Managers are sometimes shamefully oblivious to the accomplishments of their staff. When looking for someone to fill an opening in their department they often look outside the group.

Before you get passed over for a department promotion, you may want to consider some suggestions from someone who's been there. At my former corporation I counted 23 managers in a period of 13 years during which I was employed. What chance did I have at my manager remembering my name much less the work I had accomplished?

That's where you come in. If you want to convince your manager that you're the right one for the job you'll need to prove it. How? Imagine yourself as the boss or manager. What would it take for a subordinate to convince you of their capabilities?

First, assess your manager's convincer strategy. If she is analytical, then she is more likely to be swayed by a written recap of your production. For example, in the purchasing department we had three buyers including myself. Our manager was a former CPA and Financial analyst. My whining and complaining about department inequities only made him want to avoid me at all cost. After he rejected my first request for a promotion from Junior Buyer to Buyer, I knew it would take some convincing to get the ball rolling.

I prepared a spreadsheet (his favorite media) with a recap of the department's production over the past year. Within the report I captured the actual numbers by month of each buyer's purchases by dollar volume and by number of purchase orders completed. Once the numbers were clearly evident, he could see that my production equaled and often exceeded that of my peers. If I was doing the same amount of work, why was I still considered "junior"? It took some negotiating on my part, but eventually I convinced my manager of my capabilities. Perhaps the highest compliment he ever gave me was the statement, "You've changed. You used to bring me problems, now you bring me solutions."

This is just one of the ways to approach a manager for a well deserved raise or promotion. In today's economy there are no guarantees or job security. But if you want to improve your chances of staying on board, you need to have visibility and gain the respect of your direct supervisor.



Jun 30, 2010 6:51pm
Thanks for the advice on getting a promotion at work.
Jul 1, 2010 10:17am
snowfence, You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by.
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