How to Ask for That Overdue Promotion with Examples

Asking for a promotion can be nerve-wracking but a crucial step in advancing your career. It’s no secret that promotions overlook women, as female employees are 14% less likely to be promoted than male colleagues. But besides biases and workloads, the one thing that should not stop any woman from receiving a promotion is her confidence. So, it is time to boost yourself and ask for that overdue promotion! 

Understand Company Policies

Every organization does not promote individuals the same way, so be sure you understand your company policies. Things like formal performance reviews or board decisions can impact the promotion timeline. Understanding these nuances will help you navigate the process effectively and proactively.

Assess Your Contributions

Before initiating the conversation about a promotion, take a comprehensive look at your contributions to the company. List your achievements, completed projects, and additional responsibilities you’ve undertaken. This list will provide you with concrete evidence to back your claim. 

Research Industry Standards

Industry-standard research is the second piece of information you will need to make your case. Below-average salary expectations can provide valuable context when discussing your position and compensation. It also allows you to demonstrate a keen awareness of market trends and the value you bring to the organization.

Schedule a Formal Meeting

Request a formal meeting to discuss your career progression to ensure your supervisor allocates sufficient time for a meaningful conversation. How you ask them can vary from person to person. Some may work closely with their supervisor in the office and can casually ask for it in person, while others in remote settings may ask over email.


Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

Over the past [mention specific time frame, e.g., year], I worked on several projects and initiatives that aligned with the company’s goals and allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I am eager to explore how we can build upon these experiences to further contribute to the success of the team and any potential advancement within my current role or beyond during our next one-on-one. 

I appreciate your time and look forward to the opportunity to discuss my career progression within [Company Name].

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Highlight Your Achievements

During the meeting, discuss your achievements and contributions and how they supported the company’s or team’s growth. Use specific examples to showcase how your work positively impacted the team or company. Quantifiable metrics, such as increased sales, improved efficiency, or successful project outcomes, will strengthen your case.


I have had the opportunity to lead a team in completing [Project X]. This project not only met its deadlines but exceeded expectations in terms of client satisfaction, resulting in a [percentage] increase in our customer retention rate. This experience strengthened my project management skills and showcased my ability to collaborate effectively across teams to achieve shared goals.

Highlight Any New Skills

Often, professionals will work towards skills they will need in the future to demonstrate their leadership capabilities. Be sure to emphasize any new skills you acquired or professional development initiatives you undertook in the meeting. 


I have implemented [Insert New Skill(s)] in our recent project [Project Name], where we faced challenges related to [specific challenge]. By leveraging [New Skill], I contributed to a more efficient resolution and ensured the project’s success. I am eager to discuss how these skills can position me to take on more advanced responsibilities within the team. 

Be Clear About Your Expectations

The key to asking for what you want is clarity. Some may shy away from explicitly saying what they want for fear of coming across as demanding or overstepping. Yet, women often do the same amount of work for less. Build your confidence so that, when the time comes, you can clearly express your expectations regarding the promotion, including the specific position you’re aiming for and the associated responsibilities. 

Request Feedback

Invite your supervisor to share their thoughts on your performance and potential for growth within the organization. Acknowledge any areas for improvement and discuss how you plan to address them proactively. As you address weaker skills, you can take it as a chance to network with those above you and hear how they got to where they are now. 

Follow Up with a Written Proposal

After the meeting, follow up with a written proposal summarizing the key points discussed, including your achievements, contributions, and the specific promotion you’re seeking. This document can serve as a reference for you and your supervisor during the decision-making process. It can also be handy for anyone sponsoring your promotion, as they will need the information to help advocate for you.

Asking for a promotion is a significant career step that requires careful planning and effective communication. Assessing your contributions, understanding company policies, and presenting a compelling case for your advancement increases your chances of a positive outcome. But one thing that always benefits your career advancement is to connect with a community of other professional women!

If you want to continue growing as a leader, you can do it with the support of industry-leading women worldwide. No matter what field, the International Association of Women brings professionals together to share their tips and empower each other to reach new heights. Join our community today and find mentors, business resources, weekly webinars, networking events, and more!

Comments are closed.

Accessibility Toolbar