Preparing for Promotion: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pursuing a Promotion at Work

It’s time. 

You’ve been at your job for a while now, learning all you can and improving your skills. You feel you’ve mastered the finer points of your job and are starting to wonder if it’s time to take the next step. 

Before you decide to seek a promotion, take a moment and ask yourself these questions to make sure this is what you really want. 

Why do I want this?

What’s your reason for wanting a promotion? Do you feel it’s time and this is another step you need to make in your career? Is it something you want, or do you feel like it’s something you HAVE to do in order to be considered successful? Are you looking for a different status at work, or would you like the bump in pay? Are you feeling unchallenged in your current position and need something new? There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question; just make sure you’re clear on the rationale behind the decision. 

Why now?

Timing can be everything and can make a big difference in when it’s right to ask for a promotion. What factors made you think this was the right time? Have you been in your job a certain length of time and feel you should be ready to move up the ranks now? Did someone else who’s been with the company for as long, or less time, just get promoted and you feel like you need to ask to keep up? Do you feel ready and prepared to have more responsibility — do you feel like it’s time to grow with the company to show that you’re committed? Consider whether you’ve done all you can in your current position and have done well in recent reports and conversations with your manager so you know there’s a good chance your request will be heard on good merits. It’s also important to be aware of any hardship or struggles the company has had: any financial or staffing challenges might make this a bad time to make your request.  

What will I gain from this?

A slightly different question from “why do I want this,” asking what you will gain from this can help determine whether a promotion is really what you want. Will you learn new skills? Will you have a chance to expand your capabilities? Is there something available to you at the next level that you cannot attain or access now? Will you add new responsibilities that you feel capable of tackling? Are you excited about the prospect of maybe managing a team or serving in a more leadership capacity? 

Why am I the right person for the promotion?

Think about this request from the other side for a moment. What would the company have to gain if you were in a new position? How would the company benefit? What do you, alone, bring to the table that would make it an asset and a step forward for you to be promoted? Why not someone else? What do you have that other people who have been with the company as long, or even less time, don’t, that would help move the company toward greater success? Why should it be you?  Being able to make an argument for yourself when asking about the possibility of being promoted will help your current supervisor see the benefit of shifting the dynamics at work, and they can help make your case for you, increasing the chances of getting what you’re after. 


Going after a promotion is a big deal. If you’re seeking a new title, more responsibility, and, hopefully, higher pay because you’ve earned it and the time is right, there’s no reason to wait to pursue your dream and the next step in your career. Prepare your argument, show your work, and here’s hoping for the best! 

But if you’re looking for a promotion to tick a box, or because you’re bored in your current job, maybe it’s time to consider making a different kind of change. Contact Debbie’s Staffing and see what jobs our clients have available that might be able to give you a fresh start on the career track you feel is best for you. Contact Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s help you meet your goals.