How to ask for a promotion

 Janet Tarasofsky, founder of Speaking Rights, offers insights into her own path to a successful speaking career and tips on how to ask for a pay rise or promotion

 A few years back I swapped the intense corporate world for the struggle that is ‘entrepreneurship’. I had a good job in the beauty industry but I knew my calling was elsewhere the moment I got on stage and started speaking. It was a risk because I was a single mother, but the drive to build Speaking Rights was too strong to ignore.

My transition was not as instant as my realisation. I hired myself out for two or three days a week while I built the company. I enjoyed the process, even though it was a busy time and a major juggling act. Another huge change was working in a mainly male-dominated industry. I was often the only woman speaker in a line up and I got the distinct feeling that they were paid more money than I for being there. I resolved to brush up on my negotiation skills.

I now spend my days speaking and training people on how to have more ‘courageous conversations’ – the ability to have productive talks, no matter how challenging. The world is not comfortable place, and we can’t change that, but we can learn to deal with it and become ok with discomfort.

The confidence I gained through starting a new career in keynote speaking and training others has helped me to navigate through my career changes and the challenges it has brought.

Now my mission is to help others, particularly women, with workplace issues such as asking for a pay rise or promotion.

Frustrating facts for today:

¬   In the UK, the pay gap between male and female managers is worsening with women earning an average £12,000 less than their male colleagues. {LINK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/09/25/gender-pay-gap-widens-12000-female-managers/}

¬   The same study by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR found that just one per cent of the UK’s large companies have complied with the Government’s new pay transparency rules. As of last week, just 77 of the 7,850 companies had fulfilled their obligations, according to the CMI.

¬   A recent US study by McKinsey and the LeanIn.org on Women in the Workplace 2017 found women continue to be hired and promoted at lower rates than men. The lower representation of women in senior levels does not appear to be driven by differences in company-level attrition. {Https://womenintheworkplace.com}

Do you read these facts and think…’Yup I know. It’s horrible…’ and then turn back to your computer and keep working? As a woman in business for the last 20 years, I have seen too many good people not ask for the pay rise or promotion they deserve. Sadly, many of these people are women.

It’s time to start asking for what you deserve, without fear of rejection or punishment.  So let me guide you how to ask for a promotion.

Aside from the obvious preparations such as your accomplishments and your developments, you need to step back and identify the motivators, or what makes us tick. The three key motivators we must understand before asking for promotion are:

¬   The company’s

¬   Your manager’s

¬   Yours

Company Motivators:  You are about to ask the company to hand you over more money from their tightly held budget. Why would they do that?  Remember the company is not a person, with a heart and soul, but a brand identity with certain values that it tells the world about.  What are those values?  How can your contribution add to the values of the company?  What can you use for your progression?

Manager Motivators: Their values are not printed on the company walls. You need to investigate as subtly as possible to find out what makes them tick.  Ask questions before your go for your review and find out what inspires them and what their goals are.  Once you have a better idea of what matters to them, then present your accomplishments to them to show how you can help them achieve their goals. It will align your interests and give you more clout.

Your MotivatorsDecide what salary and bonuses you are looking for and be prepared to negotiate!  If reaching your desired salary and bonuses is out of the question, then play around with holidays, health benefits or flexi-time options.  Know what you are willing to give up and remember that if you are going to give up something, ask for something in exchange. Never walk out feeling that you ‘lost’ the negotiation, as it will effect your motivation at work.

Award-winning professional keynote speaker Janet Tarasofsky is the founder of Speaking Rights, offering valuable insights into how to better navigate the inevitable confrontations that occur in the workplace. With 20 yearsexperience in the customer goods industry developing and marketing products around the globe for brands such as Sainsbury’s, Elemis and The Body Shop, Janet launched Speaking Rights in 2013 with the mission to help people express themselves productively, and improve working relationships with effective communication. www.speakingrights.com

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