How do you start the conversation about promotion?

Most managers don't really like surprises, so play it by the book. This means making a polite, formal request in writing for a meeting to discuss it. Your request should be positive and non-threatening.

Keep the conversation open – the last thing you want to do is go in all guns blazing, demanding an immediate 'yes or no' answer. Tell your boss you've been thinking about your career and wondering about ways you could develop yourself and make a better contribution to the organisation. The best managers are genuinely interested in the career development of their staff, but all good managers should be interested in hearing from people who have ambitions. Unless they hear otherwise, managers tend to believe that their staff are happy where they are, and can be pleasantly surprised to find out that people want to do more. Be confident about what you have to offer, but never demanding.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.