Career DevelopmentJob PromotionSales Leadership
#GirlsClub Guide to: Asking for a Promotion

“Whether that’s speaking up in your job or asking for a promotion or saying, “I think I can do that”, using your voice in ways that might initially scare you can be an architect of change.” – Maria Shriver


Asking for a promotion is hard and scary – no joke. So often we want to ask for a promotion but don’t know how to. We can be scared that our boss isn’t going to see us as successful, or as prepared for that role as we do. Or, we’re scared that our boss will say NO

We HATE rejection! 

When we’ve worked so incredibly hard to get to this spot and have sacrificed dinners with our friends, birthday parties, and holidays to prove our value and worth in our company, it can be a disappointment when we are told “no”. 

Here are three simple boxes to check that can help you feel more prepared for your promotion meeting:

  1. Building your Resume: If you have ever seen the TV Show “Survivor”, you know that in the last episode the remaining two contestants are in front of a panel of peers and share everything they have accomplished in hopes of being awarded the $1 million prize. Like Survivor, you need to share everything you’ve accomplished in your position. It’s crucial for you to create a list of achievements and reasons why you are ready for this promotion ahead of time. This will help you when your manager asks why you think you deserve to be promoted. We have all gotten nervous in interviews, so if you have it written down or typed up, you can refer back to that list.
  2. Lean on your Mentor: Mentors can be your biggest fan and advocate inside and outside of your organization. Chances are that they have been in your exact shoes. They have had to ask for promotions and have had to share why they deserved to be moved into whatever role they were asking for. If they are inside of your company, they could also help you understand what that role really entails and how to demonstrate your success in a way that would fit the company’s needs.  They’ll also be able to encourage and motivate you to give you a confidence boost. Our mentors want the best for us and are a great resource for us to utilize. 
  3. Believe in Yourself: You are a powerful and fierce force! You have worked tirelessly and have put in the work to accomplish these tasks. I personally love reading this quote when I need to give myself a confidence boost, “The strongest factor for success is self-esteem: Believing you can do it, believing you deserve it and believing you’ll get it.” By preparing yourself, and believing in yourself, you will be able to accomplish anything. 

One of the most important things to remember (and I know this from personal experience) is that you should not be scared. Even if they say, “not right now”, it doesn’t mean NO. It’s important to figure out what they’re really looking for, and how you can get to that spot where they would promote you. Sometimes, you have to ask them what they are looking for because if you know you have the skills they need, you can push back! Share with them why you have mastered that skill and why you deserve this.

No matter what happens, you are already on your way to being an amazing leader. Many employees are afraid to even ask their boss about career paths, and if you are asking for a promotion, then you have already accomplished the hardest task. If you get prepared, lean on those around you for support and encouragement, and, most importantly, believe in yourself, then you will most definitely be prepared.


Our #GirlsClub Guide to Virtual Sales series is a collection of articles written by #GirlsClub members – proteges, mentors, advocates, and thought leaders – to give women the advice and confidence they need to succeed at work.


About the Author:

Katie Ray, Territory Account Director
Katie Ray is a customer-centric seller with a desire to provide the right solution at the right time. She graduated from Baylor University and is currently pursuing her MBA at Texas Tech. She has been working in the IT industry for almost 6 years and has loved every step of the journey. She hopes to encourage those around her with honest commentary about the experiences and challenges she has faced.