#AskIvanka: Promotions & Raises
You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
If anyone is a proponent for advocating on your own behalf, it’s Ivanka. She famously proved herself worthy of an Executive Vice President title at the Trump Organization, just years out of college, and she’s been making good on her goal of growing the organization to new heights, alongside her father and brothers, ever since. When it comes to advancing in your career, oftentimes the best person to make the case that you’re ready for bigger and better—is you. We asked Ivanka to answer your questions (and a few of our own!) for pursuing a promotion or raise.
When is the best time to ask my boss for a promotion?
Ask when you feel like you’re not being recognized for the job that you’re doing and the responsibilities that you are carrying. I can tell you when it is not a good time to ask: around bonus season—your boss is going to be dealing with the needs of many people, don’t add to the stress; or right before or after you deliver on something big—that’s opportunistic and feels too strategic and selfish. Ask during a quiet, unexpected time and allow your boss to focus her attention on your request.
How should I prepare?
Do your research. Understand your market value and, more importantly, your value to the company. Don’t go in and expect your boss to give you a number—you need to know what you’re asking for in advance and be prepared to explain, in an honest and candid dialogue, what you feel like you’re doing that you’re not being compensated for. Have confidence in your own worth.
My manager left several months ago, and I’ve been filling his shoes. I haven’t gotten a raise or a promotion, but my responsibilities have definitely increased. How should I address this?
Approach your new boss and say, “I’ve been effectively doing this person’s job since they’ve departed and I’d like to formally assume their position.” Have a conversation. Express that you feel confident you can grow in this role and create value for the company.
I’m scared! I’m terrible at hard conversations. Any advice?
It’s only a difficult conversation when there’s a true discrepancy between what you feel like you’re entitled to and what your boss feels like you deserve. If this discrepancy exists, you need to know about it. Either your boss doesn’t find you as valuable as you believe yourself to be, in which case you should start looking elsewhere—or consider if perhaps she is correct and that you have significant room for improvement in key areas—or, she doesn’t realize the full scope of what you do and therefore doesn’t realize that you are being underpaid, in which case you should give her the benefit of the doubt and the time to make it right.
I’ve been in my position for a couple years and still haven’t received a promotion. Aren’t I entitled to a raise?
A lot of people assume that time is the reason they should get a promotion and truthfully, that’s the weakest approach. If you’re relying on tenure, then clearly your work isn’t accomplishing much. To earn an increase in salary, you need to be increasing your responsibilities and performing at a higher level than that at which you were hired.
How do I negotiate if my boss says no?
Don’t negotiate—typically no means no when it comes to this type of discussion. If your boss says no, you have two choices: you either accept the rationale, think about it and grow based on the feedback, or you leave. This is a good time to be reflective. Ask why you haven’t earned the bump. You may not walk away with a new title or more money, but hopefully you’ll learn something that will help you self-correct moving forward.