Subject: How to get a promotion at work

How to get a promotion

I am going to hit you with the harsh truth here fellow Intern 24/7-ers: we suck at asking for what we want.  

Do you want to take a two-week vacation with your friends, but are scared of looking uncommitted at work? Do you want to ask that guy out to play crazy-golf with you, but scared that you will look crazy yourself?

Well I have news for you, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s the bluntest and most boring truth out there, but it will sure get you to where you want to be a hell of a lot faster.  

I know this is easier said than done. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is as scary as inviting Anna Wintour over for dinner and letting her rifle through your wardrobe. So we are here to help because you deserve that promotion and pay rise girlfriend.

When you are going through the thought-process of “hell, I deserve way more recognition for all the hard work I am putting in”, don’t immediately storm into your manager’s office demanding a promotion or rise, or they will lose you as an employee forever. In the words of Blu Cantrell…breathe.

Do your homework. Research all the similar jobs out there and evaluate what the salary is and what the responsibilities of those roles entail, and compare this to your current role.  

Go back and look at the original application for your job and all the specifics of your current duties. Do you fulfil all responsibilities, or even go above and beyond? If you are doing the bare minimum, it’s going to be unlikely that you will be getting any recognition for this.

Prepare what you want to say in the meeting by writing down everything you want to say. Practice with a friend, so when it comes to the actual meeting, you don’t get flustered and bail.

A wise friend recently gave me some sound advice. Firstly, write two columns with the headers ‘what I want to say emotionally’ and ‘what I want to say professionally’. Write down all the emotional things you want to say and then write professional way to say it.

E.g. “I deserve a pay rise because how dare you pay me the minimum wage and make me work my ass off” = emotional.

 “I believe that I show a great amount of dedication to this organisation and have a proven track-record of successfully fulfilling the role, and I would like to take on more responsibility to continue in the joint venture for success. Therefore, I would like for this to be mirrored in an increase in my salary, and in my job title” = professional.

Timing. I advise not to demand a promotion or pay rise in the first few months of your role. You need to prove yourself first. We would say six months onwards is a safe place to start. Timing is also vital when having the meeting. You don’t really want to be asking your boss for a meeting when he or she is about to leave for the day, or on a Friday when they are winding down from the week. Schedule a reasonable hour of the day early on in the week.

 Ask. Now that you have all of the information you need and you are prepared for the meeting, this is the hardest step. You will most likely experience physical symptoms of stepping out of your comfort zone, such as raised heartbeat, sweaty palms, breathlessness. But one simple step can change everything.

Email your boss:

Dear XYZ,

I would love to arrange a time to sit down with you to discuss my progression in the company and the next steps towards my career development. Please let me know when a suitable time would be for us to both sit down.

Kind regards,
ABC (how cool would it be if your name was actually ABC)


And finally, know your worth. Men don’t have an issue in asking for a pay rise/promotion, where are women find it one of the most stressful things that they can do. Let’s just say pay disparity has only recently been highlighted, and years of female suppression in the workplace is probably a fair reason to be nervous to go all-guns blazing and asking for what we want. We could write a whole book (x10) on why there is inequality in the workplace for women, but the aim here is to help you get what you want. You know your value, both economically and professionally.

And remember, if they say no, stay balanced and follow up with an email thanking them for taking the time to meet with you and confirm that you would like to arrange another meeting in three/six months’ time.

Now, go and get that bread.

Kind regards,

Rosie x