Do you feel confident and totally in control of your daily tasks? It may have taken you a long time to get here, and you may have made a few mistakes and gone through a steep learning curve to gain your current skills…but you are here now. Moreover, while the job may have seemed difficult at first, you are finding your stride at this point. You may even be looking around for new challenges (translation: you are getting bored).

You are ready to accept some more responsibility, and of course, the salary boost that comes with it. So how can you convince your manager to send you up the ladder? Here are a few ways to make your case.

Speak before you act.

Do not burn yourself out, take on more obligations, or put in a level of effort way beyond your pay grade while hoping and praying that your boss will take notice on her own. She won’t. Before you kick yourself into overdrive and start staying late without extra pay or doing backflips past her office, use your words to tell your boss what you are doing. Explain your intentions. Say clearly, “I’d like to take on more responsibility. I think I’m ready to go after the senior analyst position.” That way when she sees you going the extra mile, she will understand what is happening and put your effort into a context.

If she says you are not ready, do not walk away.

Again, if your boss says you are not ready for a promotion and cuts off your pitch, do not promise to “prove yourself” and then backflip out the door. She will not notice or care. Instead, ask her exactly what you will need to do or accomplish in order to change her mind. If possible, get these milestones in writing. Then take them back to your desk and start working your way down the list. Vague, unshared, undefined terms like “hard work” or “dedication” will not get you anywhere. Concrete accomplishments will.

Check in regularly.

Explain that you are gunning for a specific form of advancement. Then come back to your boss’s office the same time a week later and explain it again. Then again. Ask for advice. Ask for support and help. Ask to take on specific projects or specific leadership roles. Keep checking in. Remember: the boss has two priorities. Making money for the company comes first, and developing employee careers comes second. Expect your conversation to be forgotten if you do not bring it up again.

Highlight the great things you have done and help your boss forget about your past mistakes. And while you do so, be persistent, patient, and professional. For more on how to grab the advancement you need, turn to the career development experts at Extension.


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