Ask Esther…How do you ask for a promotion?

Ask Esther

Esther Stanhope is international speaker and communications expert.

A former BBC producer she’s rubbed shoulders with the likes of Madonna, George Clooney, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

She now helps talented people in business, like you to speak up in meetings and conferences, get their voice heard and radiate charisma, confidence, gravitas and credibity.

If you have any questions for Esther about the way you come across at work, as a leader or when you’re chairing a meeting, fire away. Ask anything.

Email: [email protected]

Dear Esther,

“How do you ask confidently about a salary raise or a promotion?”

My problem with a promotion is that I feel I do all the hard work. I know I bring value but then another person gets promoted.

If I talk about the promotion with my boss,  I always start well but then never have the confidence to nail it down completely.  I never feel confident to mention money.

Any tips would help.

Thank you!

Tiana, originally from New Guinea, now working for a global bank in London


Thank you so much for your email Tiana.

First of all, you are NOT alone.  Asking for a promotion or pay rise is a real bottom clencher! Yikes.

However, it’s just not fair to carry on doing all the hard work while others around you get promoted.  You have to act and do something for YOU and your career.

Think of it this way.  It’s not selfish or big headed to work on YOURSELF for a change.  Think of all the hundreds of people you can help when you step into a more senior role.  YOU can make a real difference when you step up. So why not start that process now?

Don’t worry, this is a marathon, not a sprint.  It might take some time.  It’s worth it.

Women in particular HATE talking about cash.  Like that old Simply Red song ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’ – we just avoid going there.

However, I’ve learnt from my personal business coach, Kim Duke, founder of Sales Divas, and my own experience, that money MUST be mentioned and there is a way of talking about it that doesn’t sound:

–    Apologetic

–    Pathetic

–    Like the underdog

–    Unconfident

–    Like you’re a blithering idiot who doesn’t deserve a bean!

As for asking for a promotion – they go hand in hand, don’t they?

Ok it’s time to get courageous, it’s time to start believing in yourself and giving yourself some time and space to work on your strategy for ‘the chat’

I have two really useful tips for you.

Tip 1  –  Always have an idea!

Have an idea you can share with your boss. Could be a project, a team change or something related to revenue or winning a client is always good!

You can start by simply by saying you’d like to have a coffee to chat through some “ideas”.

If you go with something fresh and new to talk about – something you could lead or take responsibility of – you’ll get yourself on the right track fast.

Where people go wrong is thinking that hard work and dedication will get them a promotion – it won’t. You’ll be taken for granted if you carry on with your head down ‘doing your job’.

You have to go in with an ‘elevator pitch’ of sorts.  The idea will involve you taking on more responsibility – ie stepping into a more senior role.

At the end of the idea chat, you could say something like.

‘What do you think about me taking on the responsibly of xxxx as a pilot project as part of my promotion? What do we need to do to make that happen?

Or something like that? I just heard you shudder with fear.

Seriously, why not try your version of it.  If you don’t ask you don’t get.

Men are much more likely to ask than women so go on I dare you to ASK!

Tip 2  – Know “The Value”

Talking cash….

OK,  asking for more money is all tied in with asking for a promotion.

My biggest game-changing tip is getting used to talking in terms of ‘market value’

Whether you’re talking your fees, your products or your pay cheque.

The question is what’s the value?

So my advice when asking for more money is this….

You pitch your great ideas and new responsibility and you say

“The market value of this role is xxxxxx (you need to check) however I’d be very happy to talk about our realistic budget”

Or talk about the value of the what you are working on (could be a multi-million dollar client)

“The value of this project is XXXX – so the value I bring to the team is at least xxxxxxx, however, I’d be really happy to ask for xxxxxxx, which is only a tiny percentage of xxxxxx”

By the way, check out my super affordable online programme here ‘How to get your dream Promotion’ you’d love it.  It’s in nine bite-sized chunks with a funky interactive workbook. You can use the voucher code dreampromo50 to get a 50 per cent discount. That will save you £77 off the price.

It might be just what the doctor ordered!

Esther xxx

Ask Esther … Ask me anything. 

From how to get rid of anxiety and that awful rash to how do I interrupt a man-terrupter?

I would LOVE to hear your confidence, communication and career dilemmas at work.

Please do CONTACT ME [email protected] with your questions about how you come across to your audiences; your boss, clients and colleagues.  Do you captivate your audience in a meeting?  Do you know how to influence the ego? I can help.

Tell me your stories and I’ll give you some game-changing free advice and more.

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