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Is it a Good Time to Ask for a Promotion?


Of course you want to grow in your career — nobody wants to
be doing the same job forever. But when it comes to taking that next step up
the corporate ladder, timing is everything. Knowing when to broach the subject
of a promotion is as important as documenting why you deserve one in the first

But don’t worry- you don’t need a crystal ball to know
whether or not it’s a good time to broach this all-important subject. We
interviewed PayScale’s Lead Data Scientist, Katie Bardaro, to identify what
questions you should answer yourself before popping the question to the powers
that be.

  • What’s
    your current market value?
    If you’re already earning more than your peers,
    it may be a sign that you’re ready to take on more responsibility. Make sure
    your Salary Report is
    up to date.
  • What’s
    happening in your industry?
    Check the PayScale Index. If your
    industry is growing, new, less experienced employees may be flocking there.
    Your experience may make you a natural candidate for a leadership or senior
  • What’s
    happening in your job category?
    Again, the PayScale Index can tell you
    if other people who have your type of job are seeing increased wages and
    growth. If that’s the case, your career should follow those trends.
  • When is
    your next annual review?
    If your company has regularly scheduled times of
    the year when raises and title changes happen, your chances for a promotion are
    increased if you ask before these decisions are made, not after.
  • Did you
    recently complete a large project or deliverable?
    If you just earned big
    kudos for a job well done, now is a perfect time to capitalize on your success.
  • Are you already
    a leader?
    You can show your leadership potential without the official
    title. Tell your boss that you want the opportunity to lead groups or projects to
    flex your leadership muscle.
  • Are you
    managing up?
    Putting in face time and making sure you are on your boss’s
    radar is vital if you want to be first in line for a promotion.
  • Has your
    skill set grown?
    If you’ve recently completed additional certification
    training or gotten a new degree, make sure that management knows that you want
    to put these new skills to use.
  • Is your
    employer financially healthy?
    If you notice a trend of pay raises, bonuses
    and extra-generous Beer Fridays, then you’re more likely to get the green light
    on your promotion request. But if bonuses are nowhere to be found and there’s a
    hiring freeze in place, you may not be somewhere where your career will grow.

Do you see a pattern emerging in your answers? Take a few
minutes to think through these questions before you start pursuing a promotion
and you’ll have a better idea whether you’re on a solid path to the corner
office, or just engaged in a wild goose chase.

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(Photo Credit: skalasinc /Flickr)

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