Perhaps one of the bigger milestones you can achieve in your career is reaching the point where you wonder how to ask for a promotion from your boss in the most appropriate and tasteful manner.

Promotions do not usually come easily for most employees. Surely, having connections and recommendations from higher-ups does help tremendously. However, qualifying for career advancement is mostly the result of one’s hard work and dedication in their respective role.

In this article, we will give you some pro tips on how to start a conversation about promotion, how to determine if you are due for advancement, and more!

Key Takeaways

  • Asking for a promotion at work entails researching the responsibilities that come with the role, building your credentials, and being open to discussing your potential.
  • Determining whether a promotional pitch is appropriate involves analyzing if you feel ready to take on more responsibilities and whether you have made significant contributions to the team’s success.
  • Staying humble, managing expectations, and maintaining consistency all increase your chances of getting considered for a promotion.

When to Ask for a Promotion

It is perfectly understandable to feel unsure of whether it is time to ask for a promotion. Discussions about your career advancement are best timed carefully. That said, you should ask for a promotion when:

#1. You’re Ready for More Responsibilities

how to ask for a promotion

Promotions come with bigger challenges and heavier responsibilities that you can only handle upon developing a specific set of skills that are closely tied to the role. Take some time to reflect on your past experiences working for the company.

Then, think about the progress you’ve made so far—how much have you learned? Examples of aptitudes often associated with higher-tiered jobs include time management skills and critical thinking.

You can also base your readiness for bigger responsibilities on your tenure at the company. If you’ve been working for over three to five years, then you should start thinking about the possibility of progressing your career.

#2. You’re Being Entrusted With More Challenging Tasks

According to a study by NectarHR, 65.38% of surveyed employees feel that their employer is fully invested in their career growth.

That said, is your boss constantly giving you more challenging tasks as a way of helping you be more proactive in your role? How often does your supervisor or manager offer opportunities to develop new skills and expand your industry knowledge?

Sometimes, all you really need is a little push, and what better encouragement to have than the confidence that your supervisor has in your capabilities?

#3. You’ve Recently Made a Significant Impact on the Business

how to ask for a promotion

Some jobs come with specific KPIs that employees are required to meet to qualify for commissions, bonuses, and possible advancement.

For instance, if you work for a sales agency and have consistently met your key performance metrics, you can ask for a promotion by describing how your efforts helped the company reach its target sales quota for the first quarter of the year.

Aside from helping the company reach its main objectives, other examples of creating a significant impact on the business include helping to boost employee retention rates and devising strategies to acquire new customers or clients.

Note that it also depends on the kind of industry and service you are in.

#4. You Exceeded the Expectations in Your Current Role

To assess how to ask for a promotion, focus on how well you are fulfilling the job assigned to you. Simply doing your job as expected will not make you a viable candidate for a promotion.

Employers usually want employees who are proactive or those who exhibit a strong passion for their job and the willingness to be trained.

Having periodic performance evaluations in the company provides a good measure of how much you have exceeded the bare minimum in your respective position.

#5. You Experience Stagnancy in Your Current Position

how to ask for a promotion

This scenario is more applicable to companies that open vacancies for internal positions. Some employees who feel dissatisfied with their current jobs choose to try their luck in a completely new industry.

However, if you prefer to continue exploring the breadth of what you can do within the same work environment, then consider sending a cover letter for an internal position.

Make sure to take the time to study the job requirements and responsibilities, coupled with the available positions. At the same time, try to apply for job openings that are aligned with your professional experience.

Doing so increases your chances of getting considered for progress in your career.

#6. You Base it On the Market’s Hiring and Promotion Trends

Observing hiring and promotion trends provides valuable insight into planning and timing when and how to ask for a promotion. CNN reports that January, June, and July are the best months during which US-based employees gain opportunities to get promoted to higher positions.

The reason behind that is that mid-year evaluations usually take place in the month of July, thereby increasing. Some businesses follow the fiscal year, a single year used by businesses and government agencies to plan their budget and finances.

As such, they may be more open to the possibility of reshuffling their current workforce and reviewing top-performing employees who may qualify for a salary increase or an advancement in their current job role.

6-Step Guide on How to Ask for a Promotion

Use the following steps as your guide to help you gain a better assessment of your preparedness and eligibility to ask for a promotion:

#1. Research the Role

Research the Role

Research the role or job that you want to attain. Asking for a promotion also means stepping outside of your comfort zone. Surely, you can still utilize the skills and information you have accumulated from your past work experiences.

However, accepting heavier responsibilities at work is akin to a career change. That said, you must take the time to gather all the necessary resources and information needed to understand what the role entails.

You can also ask your supervisors for recommendations on whether you are suitable for the position.

#2. Build Your Credentials

Building your credentials means advertising your capabilities and unique skills to your manager. Confidence is key when it comes to practicing how to ask for a promotion firmly and decisively.

Try to use positive power words to describe yourself and back up your claim with concrete examples of how you gained, developed, or effectively exhibited each skill.

For instance, you can describe how your decision-making skills have been pivotal in addressing the biggest roadblocks to achieving your team’s core objectives.

#3. Choose an Appropriate Time

Choose an Appropriate Time

If your company or employer is currently experiencing financial setbacks and high turnover rates, then it may not be the right time to ask for a promotion.

At best, you must bring up discussions about advancing your career when the company undergoes a positive trajectory in revenue, customer retention, and talent acquisition.

Another situation where asking for a promotion is plausible is during your company-wide performance evaluations. Just make sure that you have been performing excellently and gradually improving in the last quarter to support your claim.

#4. Create a Presentation

A presentation detailing your significant career milestones and qualifications is suitable if there are other candidates vying for the same position that you’re aiming for. If you work remotely, you can also consider asking for a promotion through email and attaching the file containing your presentation.

There are several online editing tools you can use to produce an informative, engaging, and well-organized presentation. Make sure to include all the necessary credentials and documentation to assert your competence.

#5. Schedule a Meeting

Schedule a Meeting

Alternatively, scheduling a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor gives you more privacy to voice out your concerns and express your readiness for new and more complex tasks and responsibilities.

While this may not always guarantee an immediate promotion, opening up to your manager about your career goals and ambitions exemplifies courage and determination. If you’re lucky, you may get shortlisted for a promotion in the near future.

If you’re not confident discussing your potential for elevating your career, consider preparing how to ask for promotion through email.

#6. Be Polite and Professional

Maintaining a professional and polite demeanor while pitching your promotion speaks volumes about your character. Indeed, employers prefer employees with a can-do attitude and a knack for consistent development.

They are also more likely to offer bigger opportunities to workers who are considerate, humble, and possess good interpersonal skills. Advancing your career is not just about improving your hard skills—it also entails developing or possessing soft skills, such as listening skills, adaptability, accountability, and teamwork.

How to Ask for a Promotion Example/Script

Whether you’re figuring out how to ask for a promotion in writing, in person, or via a phone call, the three promotion pitch examples we’ve prepared for you can help you organize how to ask for a promotion from your direct supervisor:

Example 1: Experienced Candidate With Credible Experiences

Experienced Candidate With Credible Experiences

Dear [Manager’s Name],

Good day! I am writing this email to formally and humbly request that you consider me as an eligible candidate for the open position of [Job title or role].

I’ve been with the company for over [number of years], and I’ve always been a key player in helping my teammates become the best and most efficient they can be. In 2017, I was relocated to our new branch to be part of the new sales and marketing team. With constant coaching and open communication, I managed to help increase our new recruits’ key performance metrics by 8.7%

Through my strict and meticulous management style, we secured a 15.7% increase in quarterly sales.

While I’m confident with my achievements, I cannot help but recognize that I would not have been able to reach this point in my career without your relentless mentoring, insightful feedback, and unwavering trust in my capabilities.

I know that a possible promotion means leaving my current position open and vacant, and it would require a screening process to find a suitable replacement. That said, I am more than happy to help you evaluate potential candidates to fill the position and oversee a smooth-sailing transition during this eventual career development.

Once again, thank you for your time and your kind consideration.




Example 2: Inexperienced Employee With Promising Potential for Career Advancement

Hi [Supervisor Name].

I hope you’re doing well.

I know this may be sudden, but I was hoping to have five minutes of your time to talk about the possibility of advancing my career in the company.

As you may know, I’ve been with the company for [number of years]. Although I’m quite new to the company, I’ve been consistently earning positive feedback from my coworkers in terms of my work performance and capability to interact well and blend with the team.

When it comes to my unique qualities, I like to think that I’m someone who is outspoken, creative, and takes what life throws at them with grit.

If you’re wondering what the three qualities mentioned have to do with being a leader or getting promoted to a higher position, allow me to elaborate. First, having the courage to persevere despite the uncertainties of taking on new responsibilities means I can strive under pressure, be dependable, and inspire my teammates.

In addition, with my creativity, I can think of unconventional solutions to improve our existing work setup. Being outspoken is a necessary skill if you want to lead the team to success.

While I may be inexperienced, the skills I have developed and the knowledge I have gained are far from inadequate. With that, I believe I am ready to lead, and I am capable of bringing long-term, positive change to the company.

I would be deeply grateful for the opportunity to prove my suitability for a higher and more challenging position.

How to Ask for a Promotion Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some do’s and don’ts when determining how to ask for a promotion. The expert tips we’ve described in this section should help increase your chances of securing your much-needed career advancement.

Promotion Pitch Dos

  • Do remain humble. A humble request for a promotion is often more favorable and impactful than overflowing confidence and assertiveness. The more you brag about your fitness for the job, the more your manager will doubt your capacity to accept failure and foster rapport with your teammates.


  • Do focus on consistency. It is possible to ask for a promotion without asking by letting your past achievements speak for themselves. The persistence to do better and the dedication to achieve excellence hardly go unnoticed, especially in a supportive work environment.

Promotion Pitch Don’ts

  • Don’t feel discouraged. Rejection doesn’t mean the end of the world for your career. Not all promotional pitches are met with the success and life-changing development that one could aspire to attain. Instead of counting your rejection as a failure, use it as fuel to apply for better and bigger career advancement opportunities in the future.


  • Don’t cite financial issues as your motivation for a promotion. Financial security ensures you always have food on the table or clothes on your back. However, using it as your main reason for pitching a promotion could imply disregard for the intricacies and relevance of the job.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve uncovered the secrets of how to ask for a promotion, you should feel more empowered to take your career to new heights.

Whether you choose to build your professional portfolio and hold off until the next promotion or strike while the iron is hot, remember to manage your expectations and look at things objectively.

Finally, don’t limit yourself to a single opportunity for promotion. You may have to switch careers or apply at a different company to start over but know that opportunities will open when you close the doors to chances and work experiences that no longer serve you.