How to get a job promotion

Before you start eyeing that new role or income, the first thing to do is to make your intentions known. Don’t assume that everyone will notice that you are ready to advance in your job unless you make it visible to your bosses.

Here are the steps you can take to start building a case to ask for a promotion.

  1. Get your work noticed. But make sure you are getting attention for the right reason, which is to showcase excellent work or results.
  2. Prove you are a valuable team player. While you want to get recognition for your work, don’t lose sight of the big picture that you are part of a bigger team of employees so show your support to your team members.
  3. Deliver on time. This does not mean meeting your deadline just once, but to do it consistently and efficiently to be trusted with more important tasks that come with a promotion.
  4. Have a positive attitude. Show your ability to motivate and inspire others with that positive energy that you bring to your daily tasks and show sincerity, respect and empathy when interacting with colleagues.
  5. Show your leadership skills. If you want to be trusted with more responsibilities that comes with a promotion, you need to prove you can handle that extra job scope. 
  6. Be professional. From your attire, speech, and conduct at the workplace to when you are interacting with colleagues, clients or your bosses, always behave appropriately.

Besides positioning yourself for a promotion, you can also broaden your career prospects by upskilling or reskilling which may give you the leverage you need when you asking for a promotion

When to ask for a promotion

Once you have set the plan in motion, don’t expect to get promoted immediately. Be prepared to demonstrate you can sustain your performance for the longer term to be in the running for a promotion when the next performance review comes around.

Below are ways you can make your intentions known once you know you are ready.

  • Highlight your accomplishments and make known your intention in your next performance review.
  • Ask about your career path in the company when you have a one-on-one session with your manager.
  • Prove to your boss that you deserve to be considered for a promotion with hard data and facts on hand.
  • Highlight how you have upskilled and broadened your career goals and increased your employability in the job market.

Even if your first attempt may not result in success, at least you have put it in motion to ensure your boss will keep you in mind when the next opportunity for promotion comes around. 

If a job promotion is not available, another option you may consider is to ask for a salary increase if your workload has increased beyond the scope of your original contract.

Asking for a salary increase

It is never easy to start this conversation, no matter how much work experience you have under your belt. These tips can help you approach this sensitive subject matter appropriately.

Know the market rate

Do your research on job search sites and benchmark against similar roles in other companies  as well as salary trends in your industry and prepare ahead to show why you should be paid more.

Find the right timing

The most common timing is usually the end of the company’s financial year or reaching your employment annual anniversary. It may also hinge on whether the company’s goals or revenue targets have been achieved.

Prove your value

Justify your request with performance results like greater efficiency or increased contribution to generating revenue

Once you make your intention known that you are keen to put in the effort needed to advance and be worthy of a salary increase, the next step is to figure out how much increment you should ask for.

Tips on salary negotiation

As with every other step to advance your career and increase your income, this step needs careful planning and preparation. Be guided by these tips to get prepped before making your move

Do the research

This is important to make sure you have the right data to make an informed decision when putting forward the amount of salary increase you want.

Estimate the range and percentage of salary raise

Gather market intelligence on the salary range you are qualified for and know how much salary increase you should ask for based on the current average percentage of salary increments is in Malaysia 

Prepare an exact number

Once you know the salary range and percentage of increase that is available, give a precise number when negotiating for a raise. State RM5500 instead of providing a range like RM5000 to RM6000. Being precise helps focus the discussion and show that you are serious about your suggestion and have done the homework before asking.

How do you calculate a salary increase?

For example, let’s say your current salary is RM5000 and you have done your research that the average salary increase for this year is forecast at 5%. You can also use a pay raise calculator but here’s how the basic calculation works:

New salary = Current salary (RM5000) + [current salary(RM5000)  x percentage of raise in decimal form (0.05)]

While you may have put in the time and effort to prepare yourself to ask for a promotion or salary increase, don’t get discouraged if the answer you get is ‘no’.  As the saying goes, ‘nothing worth having comes easy”.

Making the effort to upgrade your skills and pushing yourself to excel in handling new responsibilities and tasks can only serve to advance your career further.