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The Right Time To Ask For A Promotion

Here are 3 approaches you can try to get your promotion conversation started.

Cyclic Approach

Typically for most companies, look out for typical promotion cycles. These generally come in the form of biannual or annual performance reviews. These usually occur 2-3 months prior the end of the fiscal year for the company. During these reviews, your performance will be evaluated. In addition, you may be expected to do peer reviews. Tip: It is critical to have a clear understanding of your performance goals. It is important to set up regular meetings with your boss to keep track of your performance.

Opportunistic Approach

For certain companies which do not follow a typical promotion cycle, it is critical to take a more opportunistic approach. Opportunities can arise in several ways. For example, when the person who is in your dream role has moved on to another role, it may be an opportune time to ask to be considered for the role. It may be also wise to time your ask when the company has reached a certain milestone. (i.e. securing a large deal or new clients) Tip: Be cognizant of company movements and hiring activities to be optimise your timing.

“Leveraging Another Offer” Approach

If you are simply looking for better compensation and to be paid for what you are worth, you may want to use an outside job offer to ask for a promotion. However, this strategy is risky and a poorly executed approach will sound hostile and threatening and it may result in a negative impact on your work relationships.

Tip: An effective way of using this approach would be to say something like:

“I have got a great offer from somewhere but I enjoy working here and I plan to stay. What do you think my future prospects will be at this company?”

Depending on the response of your boss, you will be able to gauge your value and make a clearer decision.


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