The best way to justify a promotion and, hopefully, a raise, is to focus on your value. If you are to meet specific goals as part of your last performance evaluation, achieving those should be first on your agenda. Once you have established momentum there, you can focus on “value adds” such as correcting problems that delay progress, cause errors, reduce efficiency, lose customers and erode profit. Keep a running tab of problems you’ve solved, challenges you’ve overcome, processes you’ve improved, costly errors you’ve identified, sales you’ve made, waste you’ve reduced, customers you’ve restored and costs you have saved or lowered. When you enumerate, be sure to use a “camera’s eye view” that focuses on essential facts without embellishment. If you can’t attribute an exact dollar value to your contributions, you can retain complimentary emails and quotes from colleagues or superiors affirming your performance.
If you have a job description for the position you aspire to, review it carefully to determine whether or not you meet the basic qualifications. If yes, proceed with confidence: express your interest to your supervisor first and then to the hiring decision maker. Presenting your case in terms of the value you will add in the new role shows that you are business savvy. You understand your employer’s bottom-line needs and know the value associated with your work.
Naturally, you can increase your likelihood of success by timing your proposal well; avoid discussing promotions and raises during times of organizational stress or once your department’s budget has been finalized. Present your case when you are able to do so calmly, objectively and when the budget planning process is beginning.
There is no better way to justify a promotion than to demonstrate in dollars and cents that you have earned it. And, if the promotion doesn’t come through, you’ll be prepared to interview well with an employer that values and rewards what you have to offer!
Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC