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11 Effective Ways to Show Your Boss You’re Ready for a Promotion

Working hard and being a creative problem-solver can go a long way.

Woman in gray blazer doing a report
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

Whether managing a team or an entire business, anyone in a management position has a lot on their plate. This means that while you may be itching for a promotion, your position may not be at the forefront of your manager’s mind. It’s up to you to put it there. 

But how can you get your manager’s attention and prove to them that it’s time for you to move up as a leader? Here, 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council weigh in and offer their perspectives as managers who have had to give those promotions and employees who have successfully leveled up in the past.

Q. When you feel like you’re ready for a promotion, what’s one thing you can do to prove that to your manager? How might this help you move up as a leader?

1. Paint a Picture of the Progress You’ve Made

Paint a picture for your manager of the progress you’ve made since your hire or previous raise. You need to show your manager that you are working on more advanced projects and undertaking additional responsibilities that warrant a raise. Do not use benchmark salary data from other companies. This only shows that you are good at Googling your title and may unintentionally hinder your request. – Chase Williams, Market My Market

2. Take the Lead

If you want to get a promotion, try delegating tasks and taking the lead more. Whether it’s in a meeting or while completing a project, it’s important to demonstrate leadership and show that you have what it takes to be in charge. A self-starter attitude will liken the chances of getting promoted. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

3. Be a Self-Starter and Problem-Solver

If you want a promotion, it helps to be a self-starter and come up with solutions to problems on your own instead of waiting for someone else to do so. It shows that you care enough to solve issues yourself or at least try to. Companies like to have employees who are self-sufficient and don’t need micromanagement to get things done. It’s an easy way to prove yourself at work. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Take on Additional Responsibilities

Show you are ready for promotion by taking on further responsibilities and demonstrating your value to the company. Look for opportunities to show what you are capable of. Doing your base job well shows you are qualified, but not that you are ready for additional responsibilities. Taking on new tasks and achieving success within them will prove you deserve advancement. Then, ask for it. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

5. Go Above and Beyond Consistently

You can show your managers that you’re ready for a promotion by going above and beyond as often as possible. One way to do this is to get your work done early each week and ask what else you can do to help. Your bosses should notice your drive and, before long, you may find yourself in a management position. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

6. Exceed Metric Goals

Understanding what key metric the company needs to ramp up and when is often overlooked as the fastest way to add value. For example, if your company needs to hit 3,000 customer visits closer to the end of the third quarter, and you’re responsible for 100, find a way to double your expectation. Show your numbers and explain how you can repeat your process to exceed their goals. Your data must be relevant. – Libby Rothschild, Libby Rothschild

7. Take on the Next Position’s Tasks

When wanting to be promoted, the best way to do so is to already be doing the tasks of the promotional position and then show how it’s adding value to your team. By doing this, you’re ensuring the transition process to your new role will be smooth and helpful for the rest of your team. This increases your chances of moving up as a leader because you’re being a problem-solver and thinking ahead. – Nic DeAngelo, Saint Investment Group

8. Always Be Building Your Skills

Usually, promotions lead to work where you’re responsible for other people and you have to manage data and create reports. If you want to prove that you’re material for a promotion, showcase it by building your skills. You can use courses and books to develop interpersonal skills and learn data analytics too. Knowing how to use spreadsheets and knowing basic statistics will work in your favor. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

9. Question Old Methods And Offer New Solutions

I always admire employees who question our way of doing things and offer a new, helpful solution. We make it clear to every single person on our team that we want their feedback. If they want to know why we do things a certain way or have a specific suggestion, speak up! In my experience, the people who take us up on this offer typically end up in a management position. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

10. Master Your Current Role

Let your work ethic speak for itself. Master your current role and demonstrate how easily you can handle your current responsibilities. If your work can make an impact on the business, the promotion will automatically come to you without you putting in any effort. After all, there’s no hiding a top performer. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

11. Speak Up and Make Your Desire Clear

One reason why managers don’t promote some people is that they have no idea that they’re even interested in a promotion. If you want to grow in your business, then you need to make your desire clear. Speak to your manager and state that you are willing to grow into your responsibilities. It benefits a company to promote from within. You’ll know early on if you have a chance in your business. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.