How to ask for a promotion

Written by: CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs
Published on: 7 Oct 2022

Follow these top tips to ask for a job promotion as a procurement and supply professional.

How to ask for a promotion

Asking for a promotion can be one of the most nerve-racking activities in our professional lives, but it is integral to the progression of our career. Which is why CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs have built these top tips on how to ask for that all important step up the corporate ladder.

Whatever stage you are at in your procurement or supply chain management career, you’re bound to have some jitters before starting a conversation about your career progression.

Sometimes, these conversations are instigated by our managers – incredible, half the work is already done for us! But the difficulty arises when you must bring this to your manager’s attention.

So, if you’re thinking about having that conversation, we note some key things you need to do to prepare.

Our top tips on how to ask for a promotion

1. Do your homework

When asking for a promotion, you must do your homework before entering into any conversations. You will need to prove why you deserve a promotion, including specific examples and stats that you can share to highlight the value you add to the team and company.

Make a list of your accomplishments, and back it up with figures. Procurement and supply chain management jobs frequently tie into key financial decisions, so you can often align a monetary value to the work that you have done.

Whether you managed to save the organisation a large amount of money with a new contract or increased efficiencies throughout the procurement process, it's important to have all the information at your fingertips so you can draw upon it to answer any difficult questions.

"The key here is that you don't only want to show that you've been doing your current job well, but that you can take that step up and have gone above and beyond to deliver results."

2. Identify the position

Of course, you also will need to identify the position that you would like to move up into. Do some soul-searching and decide what kind of role you would like. What responsibilities would it ideally include, and is there a need for that role within your current team?

You can find out more about the various procurement and supply roles that are available, as well as the core skills needed, here. Also, the CIPS Global Standard is a comprehensive competency framework for the profession, so you can easily see what excellence should look like in practice at all levels.

You can potentially angle your promotion as being of real benefit to your manager and explain how you can fill some gaps in the team.

Once you've identified the position you'd like, prove how you would be a good fit for the role. What experience have you already accumulated? How have you demonstrated the skills you'll need in your current position?

Ensure that your arguments are concrete, so you are seen as the best person for the job.

3. Choose the right time

Don't rush into conversations about your progression. If your team has recently made several redundancies or is undergoing significant changes, now may not be the right time to ask.

There is never the perfect time to raise the subject, but there are some moments that might make the process easier, such as during your progress review or when annual salary reviews are taking place. At these times, your manager is already primed and ready to be making decisions about your progress and/or current salary.

However, if you're ready for a promotion at another time in the year, don't be put off. Organisations now understand the value of retaining their employees and will likely be open to a discussion.

4. Ask for the meeting

Set up a meeting with your manager, clarifying that you intend to discuss your progression. It's better to offer your manager time to prepare as they will be better placed to give their feedback on your performance and what the company can offer you.

5. Have a salary in mind

Usually, a promotion comes with a pay rise, so it's vital to know what you're looking for before talking to your manager.

It may be worth comparing salaries for the position you want to enter, both at the same company and in similar organisations. That way, you can have a broad view of where you should fall.

You don't really want to bring up figures until your promotion has been agreed, but it's good to have an idea so that you have all the information you may need at your fingertips.

It will also help when those conversations do turn to money.

6. Know what happens next

At all stages of the process, you need to ensure you understand what your next steps are. Initially, it may be a second meeting to progress initial discussions, and then it may be a development plan to prove that you have the skills to carry out the duties of your desired position.

Make sure you know when certain things will happen and any deadline you may have as part of a development plan. This way, you can keep tabs on the process and push it along where necessary.

7. Know what happens next

There are many factors as to why a promotion may never materialise. There could be budget constraints, business demands or a discrepancy between where you think you're at and where your manager sees you.

These conversations are undoubtedly challenging, but it's worth getting to the bottom of why your promotion has yet to materialise.

If it is a budget or business issue, try to understand how long it may take and whether your manager supports your wish to progress. If you don't like the answer, it might be worth looking elsewhere for a more senior position.

Check out the latest CIPS Procurement & Supply jobs here.