General Question

melissasb's avatar

How should I ask my boss for a promotion?

Asked by melissasb (1points) September 23rd, 2008

I’ve been at my job as a lab manager for over a year now. I was hired as a part-time employee while I finished my BA. Now that I’ve graduated from college, I’m ready for a full time position. More importantly, I really need health insurance. I’ve asked my boss twice before to be promoted to full time, and each time he’s let me down easy with a “hmm, we’ll see” type of answer.

I’m currently working around 35 hours/week at this job, and I feel that it’s only fair that I should be considered for a salary and benefits.

I have a meeting with my boss in about an hour, and I have no idea what to say to him. Any advice?

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15 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Ask a final time.

Regardless of his reply, get to work on your résumé and start looking for a position elsewhere. Do not mention your résumé building or job seeking to your boss. Do not issue an ultimatum. Ask for your due. That’s all.

From your boss’ perspective, he’s thinking why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

If you get a full-time position w/ benefits from him, great. If not, go get a job that has it. Either way, you win. And tell yourself, it’s not personal, just business.

melissasb's avatar

@robmandu: You may be right, but the problem is that I like my job and would rather not have to leave it. :(

JackAdams's avatar

I agree with the first answer, but phrase your request like this:

“I realize that you are reluctant to offer me a permanent full-time position for some reason, so, if you don’t mind, can I request a letter of recommendation from you, to take to our competitors, when I apply to work with them?”

flameboi's avatar

Just say it, do not hesitate a minute, just go and say, “Mr. “x” I’ve done a great job in the past year, and I think I should be considered for a promotion, I’d like you to back me up on this to start working full time”

robmandu's avatar

@melissab, it’s that thinking (I like my job and would rather not have to leave it) where your boss has you over a barrel.

You have certain skills that demand certain compensation. If this place won’t do that, then find one that will.

Do the job you love… but don’t allow yourself to be taken for a ride at the same time.

melissasb's avatar


Good point.

JackAdams's avatar

There is something else to consider…

If your boss doesn’t offer you a full-time position, there’s a very real possibility that he CAN’T, simply because the company might be in deep financial trouble.

You might be working for a company that is having lots of money-flow problems, and that just might be the real reason why you are not getting the offer you deserve.

melissasb's avatar

@JackAdams: I guess I should explain that I work at Duke University, and not an actual company.

scamp's avatar

Are you seeking more hours, benefits, or both? 35 hours a week is enough to qualify for health insurance where I am. Maybe you should just ask for insurance now. If he says you don’t work enough hours for it, tell him you’d like to rectify that. I work in a lab also, and I got insurance beginning my 30th day on the job. You may want to start a job search, just in case.

nikipedia's avatar

Since you said it’s not a financial thing, why do you suppose your boss has been reluctant so far? Has he given you any other feedback?

syz's avatar

Make a list of projects that you’ve completed, skills you’ve acquired, and any other details pertinent to the position. Let him know that based on those qualifications, you would like to request a specific time line for making the position full time. Tell him that you love your position at Duke, but if he’s not able to meet your request, you’ll be looking for a position that can.

JackAdams's avatar

My mother attended Duke.

It has budgetary restrictions, just like any other entity.

syz's avatar

(I get lots of applicants from Duke lab techs that eventually get tired of waiting for full time.)

JackAdams's avatar

How about a lateral move into a full-time position, within the University?

Is it possible for someone with your skills to utilize them in another department, where full-time positions are available?

scamp's avatar

I have a feeling that you may really want to do a job search. If you are working in a University, you are probably thought of as an easily replaceable commodity. I think if you were going to get a promotion, you would already have it. I’m sorry to say that, but my son-In-law works for a University, and I have a small idea of how they work. Unless you really stand out somehow, they could get another student to replace you within a day or two. So there is no need as far as they are concerned to give you what you want to keep you.

Knowing you have so much competition, you will have to stay on your toes at all times. You might want to take your degree and apply elsewhere, where you can get the money and benefits you seek. For instance, my company is in all 50 states, and they have great benefits for even entry level jobs. Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck. Don’t spin your wheels too long at this job if they can’t/won’t accomodate you tho.

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