Today, it is essential for employees at every level to manage their own career paths. When you’re ready to move up in an organization, there are a number of steps you should be taking to make it happen—and get the promotion you deserve.
What are the best tips for finance professionals who might get promoted?
- Build a business case for how you can help the company in an advanced role and why you feel you are worthy of a promotion. If you’ve helped the company save money or boost its competitiveness, be prepared to discuss how you can expand upon these endeavors if moved into the new role. Also highlight your leadership skills.
- If you’re looking for a raise, make sure you’ve done your homework as to why you deserve a salary bump. Check out resources, such as the 2016 Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance from Robert Half and Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for insight on the latest compensation trends.
How can they initiate that conversation?
- Explain to your manager that you want to know where you stand and you value his or her insights. Make it clear what you’re looking to discuss so there are no surprises.
- Timing can be everything, and asking for a promotion is often tied to an evaluation. Find out when promotions or raises are typically made at your company to ensure you’re asking for the conversation when the timing is right.
How should they prepare for that meeting?
- Have a business case for why you should get the promotion and be prepared to discuss it with your manager, including how your growth into a new role can help the organization or its customers.
- Ask your manager ahead of time if you can see a copy of the assessment that will be used or if there’s any information about certain projects or accomplishments that you should bring to the meeting. Being as prepared for the conversation as possible will help you make your case and ensure a constructive use of the time.
- Have an ongoing list of key achievements on hand that can serve as a reminder to you and your manager of how your efforts have benefited the company.
- Take a look at your last review and where you stand now. What have you done well, and where can you continue to improve? Maybe you led an ERP project or managed a relationship with an external accounting firm during an audit. Specific examples will help to build your case as to why you deserve to move up the career ladder.
- Also, be prepared to discuss training and development opportunities that would help you shorten the learning curve. Good leaders recognize where they need to improve. Show your manager you’re one of them by proactively taking the steps necessary to build your expertise.
Taking initiative and building a case for how you've optimized your organization's success is a great way to prepare yourself for a promotion. Build your leadership confidence with these AMA resources and seminars.