How to Push for a Promotion

All the milestones have been met and it’s time to ask for a promotion. You feel you’re a shoo-in considering you’ve consistently met company targets week in, week out for months. The time has come. You’re sitting down with your manager and the colour drains from your face as she declines your request.

  • What do you do now?

  • Do you get annoyed and storm out of the office?

  • Do you go back to your desk with your tail between your legs?

  • Or, do you debate the topic and push for that promotion?


Once you have all your ducks in a row you can get comfortable and explain why you should be considered for a promotion. Below you’ll find that exact situation in full flow as an employee makes a case to his employer for a promotion after he gets shot down. You’ll find some alternatives to help you build your vocabulary throughout this page.



Employee: Okay, I understand. But, allow me to quickly run through my reasoning for asking.

Manager: Fine, but please be quick.

Employee: No problem. I’ve been working here for three years and I feel I am excelling.

Manager: We have employees here longer. That doesn’t mean they should be promoted.

Employee: Yes, but they haven’t reached the heights that I have in terms of my targets.

Manager: That’s a good point. You have exceeded expectations in your role.

Employee: And, I’ve made great strides in my technical skills with the software we use.

Manager: We’ve noticed that. I’m still not too sure.

Employee: I feel I’ve graduated from this role and I’m now in a position to pursue a higher-level position within the company.

Manager: Okay. We’ll take everything you’ve said into consideration and let you know soon.



  • The employee asks permission to explain his grounds for promotion.

  • When management pushes back against the employee’s request, he has a detailed list of every aspect of his role that he overachieves in and uses this to state his case.

  • Remember, the company might not be in a position to promote anyone, so be conscious not to push to hard. But, if you feel you’re not getting an adequate answer, ask the question directly like, “Can you give the main reason why my request is being denied?”

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