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How To Get a Promotion or Raise: Negotiating & FAQ's Answers

Updated on June 7, 2013

A promotion typically involves moving an employee into a different position with greater challenges, more responsibilities, and possibly more authority than they had in their previous job. Usually these promotions include pay increases. Most people aim for promotions and raises when they have been in a position for a while.

Impress your boss. Make sure you do extraordinary work that gets you noticed at work. Developing your professional abilities increases your value to your current employer and those you work with. Promotions can help further your career. Access to and succeeding at obtaining promotions and raises can define career success.

When Do You Deserve to Ask for a Raise or Promotion?

After an extended period of time on the job, and when you feel you are part of the team, and you find you are quite competent, you are ready to move forward with your career with a promotion, and increase your compensation with a raise. When you are indispensable and a valuable resource to the company, you know they will want to do what it takes to keep you around. If you are quite competent and have been making a worthwhile contribution to the company, it may be time to ask for a promotion or a pay increase.

What Can You Do to Increase Your Chance For a Raise or Promotion?

Go Above and Beyond

Try new duties or tasks. Jump at any chance for extra work. You may even wish to volunteer to do them if they are not part of your typical job. Always be willing and eager to participate in special assignments or projects when asked. Take initiative. Illustrate outstanding performance and invaluable job behavior.

Improve Your Professional Development Skills

Take online or traditional courses. Many jobs have an educational reimbursement program that will pay for courses such as this if you take them at a college or university. Attend workshops, seminars, conferences, on-the-job training programs, and read books and manuals on the company’s products and software. Shadow your supervisor or other co-workers in order to improve your professional abilities. Improve any skills you can in any way you can. Show a commitment to skill development. Let others know that you are upgrading your skills and knowledge. Be eager to learn new things.

Show You Are Invaluable

Keep a record of your accomplishments. Let your supervisor know what you have done and how you accomplished it. Show evidence you deserve a promotion and/or raise. Keep a job diary perhaps. Write down each day ways that you are helping the company achieve its mission. Be unique by giving the company creative outcomes.

Be A Good Employee

Be a team player. Dress very professionally. Maintain a professional image at all times. Keep your personal life separate. Always show up on time, be absent as little as possible, and try to work late, work overtime, or work from home. Demonstrate quality work. Take on additional responsibilities when you can. Tell your supervisor about them when you ask for a raise. Foster a positive image. Have excellent workplace dynamics. Create allies by being outgoing and genuinely nice to your co-workers. Maintain great professional relationships. Show a great willingness towards helping co-workers. Jump in when needed and help others with problems.

Be Independent

Try to offer solutions to problems without the help of your supervisor. Solve problems without waiting on your supervisor to come and ask what you need. If you finish your daily workload, do not idly pretend to be busy. Instead, approach your supervisor, let them know you have finished your daily workload, and ask what else you can help out with.

What Other Ways Can You Improve Your Job?

Internal Job Posting

Check your company’s internal job postings on the Intranet or on the company’s website. If you are a good match for a position, you have a better chance of getting it than an outsider.

Improve Your Performance Based on Your Job Evaluations or Feedback

If you are told areas in which you can improve, do your very best to improve them, and show your supervisor you have improved in those areas. If you do not receive a performance evaluation from your supervisor in a reasonable amount of time, ask for one. Ask for feedback often.

Work to Improve Your Job So You Can Earn and Deserve a Promotion or Raise

Show initiative. Perform unexpected efforts. Be extraordinary in your performance. Stand out amongst the crowd. Look for opportunities.

Impress Your Boss

Anticipate what your boss wants and needs before he says it or asks for help. Stay ahead of the game. Take extra initiative to show your worthiness. Be an over-achiever.

What Planning and Actions Can You Take to Prepare for a Request for a Raise or Promotion?

Advancing in position and salary takes some planning and action on your behalf. Pay attention the trends and future goals of the company. What changes are they planning? Where might they need assistance in the future? This gives you a great place to start in research and training you decide to do to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Make sure you are ready to ask for a promotion and/or raise. Make sure you are worth of a promotion and/or raise; make sure you are worth the extra investment. What have you done for the company lately? Ensure you have sufficient evidence that you are meeting the company’s objectives. Also, before you even consider a promotion, be certain that you are ready to take on additional responsibilities.

Set career goals. A very extremely important thing you must do before asking for a raise is to know what you are worth. Research salaries for positions similar to yours if you cannot find your in particular. Negotiate a practical pay increase, and set reasonable expectations for your raise. You can research salaries at the following website.

Make sure the company is in a position to offer promotions and/or raises. If your company has just downsized or profits are very low presently, they probably do not have the funds to divvy out raises to their current employees. Companies can more easily offer promotions if they are profitable and growing.

How Do You Set Up a Meeting with Your Boss and What Do You Say?

Schedule a convenient time to have a private discussion with your supervisor. Start the conversation by discussing your interest in the company. Talk about how you can contribute to the company’s bottom line. Show how you can improve profits, illustrating you are worth a salary increase. Be prepared to state the case as to why you deserve a raise. Show how you have exhibited the qualities that make the raise worthwhile from the company’s point of view.

Do not discuss your personal finances in any way. Explain all of the accomplishments you have achieved during the course of holding your current position. Make sure you have them written down first, so that you can read them to your supervisor. Sell yourself. Toot your own horn a bit, but don’t brag. Remind your supervisor of your many skills, experience, education, and what on-the-job training you have learned.

Agree that if you receive a promotion and/or raise that you will take on more responsibility, fill new needs of the company, and take on any additional duties. If the discussion of salary figures comes up, know what you will and will not accept. Make a counter offer if you need to. However, remain respectful and professional the whole time.

When negotiating, be flexible and reasonable. You may need to trade off getting a raise for a bonus, additional vacation days, perks, and an agreement to revisit the negotiation in a certain number of months. If you do not get the answer you were hoping for or felt like you deserved, do not threaten, get angry, or argue. Maintain a positive impression. Reevaluate your long-term career strategy, and decide if you can find a more satisfactory job or not.


1. Should You Take a Promotion without a Raise?

A promotion usually entails a raise. It can mean a lateral move, which is why you did not receive a raise. One bonus of a promotion without a raise is that you will most likely be eligible for a raise in the near future if you succeed in your promoted position. Typically, the pay of a new position will eventually catch up to what it should be. Another reason you may want to take a promotion without a raise is because the company may offer other non-financial perks, such as a private office or secretary.

Just because you are offered a promotion without a raise doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it. There may be solid financial reasons that they would like to improve your position, but cannot, at the present time, give you a higher salary. A new title due to a promotion can lead to a better paying job somewhere else if you decide to switch companies, because the career development you gain and the skills you obtain look better on your resume.

Promotions also show goodwill, give you more opportunities to connect with people higher up in the organization, and give you more of an opportunity to advance your position or receive a raise in the future. If you feel your boss is trying to work you harder without paying you additional funds, you may wish to decline. If you get the feeling he or she is taking advantage of you, you should start looking for a job elsewhere.

What To Do When Others Receive a Promotion and You Do Not?

Keep in mind that offering you a promotion or upgrading your job title does not cost the company money. If you do not receive a promotion when you feel you deserve it, you should look at your performance, the performance of those who did receive a promotion, any opportunities you can take on to increase your value as an employee, any economic factors that may limit the number of employees that can be promoted, and a careful analysis to determine if you are making the company more successful.

Examine your job and duties to see if you are performing up to par. You can only control your actions and your career path; you cannot control others. Therefore, observing others’ performance is not especially beneficial, unless you can see their behaviors that they do that go above and beyond the call of duty. You can learn from their performance. Plus, if their performance is so exceptional that they receive a raise or promotion, they must be doing something right. Observe their actions, and you may have a clue as to why they were selected for a promotion or raise, and you were not.

If you take on additional responsibilities, take on additional non-assigned duties, and illustrate your value as an employee, you should be due a promotion or a raise within a reasonable amount of time. If by taking on additional responsibilities, the responsibilities of a position higher than yours, you deserve to have a promotion or a higher level job title. You have demonstrated your ability to effectively perform at a level higher than your current one. If you are feeling discouraged because you were overlooked for a promotion, examine your career goals and positive personality work traits and ethics.

Ensure that you deserve a promotion before seeing up a meeting with your supervisor. Set up a meeting at a convenient time for your supervisor. Make sure you are prepared ahead of time since this can be a nerve-wrecking experience, and when you need to discuss your talents proving your capabilities of deserving a raise, you may be nervous, and draw a blank. Be prepared.

Illustrate your strong personality by elaborating on your teamwork talents. Having a solid list of your current responsibilities, new responsibilities you have taken on, accomplishments or improvements you have made, and the many ways you have helped the company achieve its objectives.

When meeting with your supervisor, request a time that is most convenient for them. This is best to do when he or she is not distracted by deadlines, pressure, or backlogged work. When asking about why you did not receive a promotion, do not discuss your co-workers and how they received promotions. This can easily turn into bashing your co-workers, which will only make you look bad. Having a list of your current responsibilities and extra work you have volunteered to take on will give you ample room to fight for yourself, or defend yourself.

Having a clear picture of what is expected of you will ensure that you are doing your job correctly, and give you a chance to perform your expected duties above and beyond. If you are with a company for many years, have had heart-to-heart conversations with your boss about promotions, performed above the level expected of you, improved the company, and have corrected any constructive criticism you have received, and you still do not receive a promotion, you may need to consider looking for another job. However, do not quit your current job until you have been offered a new job.

What To Do if You Are Promised a Promotion or Raise and Do Not Receive It?

The first thing you need to do when promised a raise or promotion that you did not receive is to meet with your boss. Schedule a convenient time for your supervisor. Discuss your understanding that you are due a promotion or raise. If your supervisor does not explain why you did not receive that which you were promised, ask. If he or she has a valid excuse, ask when you can expect to see a promotion or raise. Find out the specific details of when and what you will receive. Try to get it in writing.

When approaching this sensitive subject, just ask in a polite and professional manner; do not threaten. Discuss how you believed you were due a promotion or raise, and ask for a performance review or any constructive criticism your supervisor may have. This may be the reason you were passed up for the promised raise or promotion. Be assertive when discussing what you believe you deserve.

Explain that you are ready for a promotion and deserve a raise. Assert yourself and stand up for yourself, but approach the subject with a delicate touch by simply saying things such as, “Can we discuss this please?” If you are not going to receive a raise or promotion, but your responsibilities have increased, explain to your boss that you have too much of a workload and/or are working too much overtime.

Before approaching your supervisor, do unexpected tasks, complete duties ahead of schedule, and try to take on more responsibilities. Write down everything – Your current expected duties, the additional tasks you have taken on, the accomplishments you have achieved for the company, and the benefits the company would receive by promoting you. Go above and beyond in your current position before approaching your supervisor, so that you will have more evidence as to why you are a very valuable asset to the company.

If you feel like you were misled, that the company lack integrity, and that you are being taking advantage of, you may need to consider searching for a new position in a different company. Companies want to get as much work out of you as possible without having to increase your salary. If you know your company is cheating you out of a promotion for this reason, you may begin to feel negative feelings towards the company. Therefore, it may be time to start looking elsewhere for a more ethical company.

To begin your search for a new job, update your resume and cover letter with your current responsibilities. You will be able to improve your resume by the wealth of experience and knowledge you obtained with your current job. Do not tell anyone at your current job that you are looking elsewhere. Try not to quit your current job until you have a new one lined up.

How Can You Get Ready For That Promotion?

• Do your job faithfully every day.
• Demonstrate your capability to move forward in your career.
• Do your job exceptionally well.
• Expand your knowledge and skill base.
• Stay current in your field.
• Show your talents; show what you can do.
• Volunteer to take on more responsibilities.
• Understand and research the drivers of the company’s success.
• Push the limits of your current position.
• Try to contribute to the company’s strategic goals.
• Practice good judgment; think about costs versus benefits for the company; review bottom-line results; understand how your position impacts the company as a whole.
• Show you have outgrown your current responsibilities.
• Make sure you understand how your performance is being measured.
• Explain you are ready to take on new responsibilities.
• Look for opportunities to lead new projects.
• Prove you are capable of taking on more of a workload.
• Go beyond what is expected of you.
• Use critical thinking to brainstorm on ways to make things more efficient for the company.
• Complete your assignments thoroughly and with as little supervision as possible.
• Stretch yourself in your current position.
• Perform well, and ensure you are meeting your job requirements.
• Show you work well as a team.
• Demonstrate imagination and the willingness to take risks by presenting your ideas.
• Add more value to your contributions to the company by increasing your professional skills.
• Demonstrate your success at taking on new responsibilities.
• Demonstrate your individual competence.
• Find things that are not being done at all, and show off your innovative skills.
• Offer to take on duties your boss does not like doing. This will expand your experience, impress your boss, and possibly give you a new responsibility to master.
• When you ask your supervisor questions, come prepared with solutions, answers, and alternatives.
• Find out what experience and skills are needed to get the promotion you are seeking.
• Make sure you understand the big picture, and incorporate it in your decisions.
• Find ways to be more involved in finding solutions to the company’s current problems.

What To Do When You Do Not Want a Promotion?

Often, employees are content in their current position. They do not want to take on more responsibilities or have to work longer hours. Here are a few ways to ensure you stay where you are at in the company. This list can also be viewed as thing NOT to do when you want to be a good employee and ensure a raise. Acting in this manner could get you fired over time.

Therefore, it’s important to find a healthy balance between what you can handle work-wise and what you can avoid doing in order to secure your job. This is not so much of a list of things you should do, but rather a list of reasons you may be passed over for the overdue promotion.

  • Not making vast improvements when they are pointed out in your performance evaluation.
  • If you cannot handle or improve upon constructive criticism.
  • If you kiss your boss’s butt in a very obvious way. Your boss and co-workers can see right through this behavior.
  • Getting stressed out in pressure situations, such as deadlines.
  • When you cannot juggle multiple projects or extra projects.
  • Not taking responsibility for your mistakes.
  • Interacting in office drama, gossip, or elaborating on your personal life.


Because promotions improve an employee’s salary, status, and feelings of accomplishment, employees typically accept promotions and any additional responsibilities that come along with the promotion. When you are ready for a promotion and/or raise, know what you are worth. Make sure you impress your boss. Be an invaluable asset to the company. Promotions and raises are advances in your career strategy and earnings.


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