Want to Know What’ll Get You Promoted Faster? Here’s a Simple Way to Do Just That

Jeff Cuellar



Promotions can be tricky business. If your boss doesn’t know that you want (and deserve) a promotion, that might surprise him/her when you bring the issue up – and as you may or may not already know, most bosses HATE surprises.

If your boss knows that you want a promotion and you’ve very adamant about the fact that you deserve it – your firm approach, even if you deserve a promotion, will probably antagonise your boss.

In short, no matter what approach you take, it always seems like you can never win – unless you do one very important thing.

Ask for advice.

Why is this so important when it comes to asking for a promotion (and a raise), read on!


Ask For Advice If You Want Your Boss to Play Nice

You can present your boss with all sorts of substantive evidence (KPIs reached, accomplishments, etc.) on why he/she should promote you – but using logic, as reasonable as it sounds,won’t get you that promotion faster than asking his/her advice on the matter.

According to a Katie Liljenquist in her 2010 paper titled “Resolving the impression management dilemma: The strategic benefits of soliciting for advice,” the easiest way to your boss on your side when it comes to the discussion of a raise or promotion is to seek their advice on it.


Because according to Liljenquist, seeking the advice of your boss on the matter transforms the focus of the discussion from you asking him/her for something, to you seeking their “help” in achieving something.

According to Liljenquist, asking for advice works better than pleading your case like a political activist in a kangaroo court because:

  • Bosses Appreciate You Bringing Them Into the Equation: When you ask your boss for advice about your promotion, you’re implicitly complimenting their leadership ability by “humbly” asking him/her what you have to do to get that raise or promotion. This is all about creating the “likeability” factor when speaking to your boss, and bosses reward those they like.
  • Bosses Will Shift Their Perspective:  Think about the times you’ve given advice to someone. Chances are good that you probably ended up putting yourself in the advice seeker’s shoes to better understand their situation so you could help. Now imagine a boss doing that for you when you ask for advice. Can you see how that added empathy and understanding can work in your favour when asking for a raise or promotion?
  • Bosses Might See Themselves as Your Biggest Endorser: Now if your boss refuses to give you guidance and advice on what you need to do to get that raise or promotion you know you deserve, get the hell out of there! The point is that you want your boss to implicitly “endorse” you by spending his/her time and energy advising you on what you need to do to get what you want. You don’t just invest your time and effort in anything unless you want a payoff right?

The bottom line is this – asking for advice will increase your chances of getting that raise or promotion you’ve been fighting for. Your boss will see you as being an employee who is “warm,” “humble,” and “cooperative.”

In short, your boss will be more likely to help you get that raise or promotion.

Seriously, you don’t have to have a PhD in Psychology to know that people love doing two things when it comes to communicating – talking about themselves and giving advice.

Yes, this approach is all about using psychology to get what you want – and it works.


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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.