Using Soft Skills To Earn That Promotion

Posted: Jul 10  |  By: Parker + Lynch

Tips To Get Ahead Using Soft Skills

Thinking of asking for a promotion — or wondering when you should ask? The experience may surprise you.

Contrary to popular belief, promotions aren’t about how many hours you’ve put in — or even the times that you’ve stepped outside your job function to help another team.

Earning a promotion is about demonstrating the value that you bring to the team — not just what you’ve done but what you have the potential to do. This process is often scary — it can often feel uncomfortable to put your entire self out there — not to mention, rejection hurts.

Getting a promotion is not a function of how good you are. Your potential for success depends on your strategy — your ability to influence and ‘sell’ your company’s leaders. Here are 3 tips that will help you get ahead:

Tip #1: Make It a Conversation

Asking for what you want is scary, especially if the process is confrontational. Often, people don’t know how to express themselves well — because, quite honestly, it’s awkward. A request for a promotion may seem antagonistic —after all, you’re walking into your boss’s office and asking for more money.

But it doesn’t need to be that way.

Employers want to see their team members succeed — and reach their goals. Earning a promotion is part is an important part of this journey. Instead of blind-sighting your manager, be open about your desires to advance. Create your path together — and position your promotion as a shared objective.

Tip #2: Be Patient

Promotions take time to implement — even if you’re ready, your company may need time to process the transition. Don’t let the ‘waiting game’ upset you, as there may be initiatives — outside of your control — pending with your company’s HR and management teams.

Instead of focusing on the ‘right here, right now,’ think about your company’s long-term interests. Show your manager and employer that you’re committed — that a promotion will help retain you for the long-haul.

Make your company want to give you a promotion. Show that you’re fully present and willing to wait for the right fit.

Tip #3: Be Firm

Even when you’ve ‘proved’ your value, your employer could always come back with a ‘no.’ It happens, and it’s outside of your control.

Don’t let this situation bog you down — instead, focus on the silver lining.

The experience of asking for a promotion is just as much about the process as it is about the outcome. At the end of the day, you may need to leave your job in pursuit of greener pastures.

No matter the outcome, you’ll come away form the process feeling empowered — equipped with new knowledge about your industry and an understanding of the value that you bring to the table. This confidence will be your strongest negotiating asset.

Final Thoughts

Have you successfully navigated a promotion? What has been the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned? Share your thoughts and feedback with the community, in the comments section below.