Did you know that 82% of employees want to discuss their career prospects with their managers but shockingly 40% never do? Most of it is based on fear or not knowing how to begin the conversation.
A recent study from Robert Half revealed this disconnect between managers and their employees on one of the most wanted aspects of any job. So important, in fact, that 32% of more than 11,000 employees surveyed by LinkedIn cited 'Strong career path' as the number one thing they look for.
Here are five rules of thumb:
Rule #1. Preparation
What position do you want to go for and why? You'll need to carefully consider this way ahead of your meeting and you will also need to back it up with evidence to support your case. Example: if you want to go for a management position, do you have the ability to coach and manage a team? How do you drive and motivate people when it matters most?
Preparation is key to any success! Think about things like; what have you achieved for the business. Specifically, how have you gone over and beyond what was expected of you? It's not enough (necessarily) to show that you have reached your targets… it's more about your contribution, initiatives and out of the box ideas that perhaps have resulted in extra revenue for the organisation.
Rule #2. Timing
There's nothing worse than asking for something at the wrong time. The ideal time to ask for a promotion is at your quarterly, half yearly or yearly review. If career progression is important, record the review date/s in your calendar. Ask for an agenda (prior) and ensure that career progression is added as a topic of discussion.
Remember: this is also an opportunity for your manager to give you feedback – you must be able to demonstrate that you have worked hard and deserve a promotion.
Rule #3. Request a meeting
If a review is not on your company's agenda, you may need to request a meeting with your manager. The best way to go about this is to send an email requesting a meeting. Ensure that you indicate the reason for the meeting (ie. you are keen to get some feedback on your performance and discuss progression opportunities). Be as specific as possible to avoid disappointment on either end.Rule #4. Do you research
For decades women have struggled to negotiate their worth – it is fact that "men are four times more likely to negotiate a first salary than women, and women are 2.5 times more likely to feel a great deal of apprehension about negotiating as compared to men."
Research your industry and your position. Look at both ends of the spectrum and then figure out where you fit. Remember it's unlikely that your employer will give you more than what you are asking for, so ensure that you aim higher. It's easier to come down than to go up.
Rule #5. Follow up
Getting feedback from your manager (irrespective of the outcome) is equally as important as looking for career progression. If you are unsuccessful, ensure you follow up and know exactly what you need to do in the future to have the opportunity you so desire.
Is there a gap in your skill set? What plans does the organisation have for future progression? Use this time critically to confirm that your goals and objectives are aligned, and progression is important to your manager as well.
It's natural to want to feel like your career is moving somewhere, but before you ask for that promotion make sure you've had a long hard look at yourself. If you can see gaps invest in personal development and look at formal learning opportunities to back yourself, for that big promotion!