Episode 02 : How To Ask For A Promotion At Work

On today’s episode of Nurture.Team, the exploration we are going to have is:

Career development is very essential for both the individual and the organization, but how can these two entities work together so that it works out for both of them.

How to let your manager know that you are ready to step into a higher role? What signals you can generate as an individual to let your organization and team know about it? As a manager what you should be looking out while managing a team and trying to identify next set of leaders? 

In the above episode, I ask the following questions. Also towards the end we do a rapid fire round.

Questions during podcast:

  • Only when individual resigns, that’s when the management or organization wakes up and engages? Why?
    • Why can’t or how can an organization sense that a specific individual is not happy and might leave soon – and work towards fixing the issue if they really want the individual to be part of the team?
  • Is career development responsibility of the individual alone?
  • What are the tools or framework for career development?
  • How does an employee understand and leverage the infrastructure which organizations has laid out for career development of the individuals?
  • How can introverts highlight their work to their managers, teams and organizations?
  • Should an individual’s goal/ OKR/ IDP be “public” within the team so that others can also view?
  • How can an organization learn need of every individual’s career development? Can a manager or a team themselves create a framework to foster career development?

What I learned:

1. Our most fickle asset is : People
  • We think of technology, business, process innovations. But innovation in managing our greatest asset, People, is not given enough time and thought.
2. If you are doing your work pretty well, then your boss is not incentivized to “promote you”
  • Intangible value is difficult to picture than “lost value”
3. Organization’s job is to provide the infrastructure for career development but it’s individual’s responsibility to leverage that infrastructure
  • Individuals will have to leverage this infrastructure and the tools for their career development.
  • Do not wait for your manager or your organization to take charge of your career development. You gotta do it!
4. In the past organizations use to offer work with a lifetime employability but that’s no more the case.
  • Organizations will keep you until you are offering them the value they are seeking for!
5. Self-promote your work/ demonstrate your work/ highlight your work/ point your work!
  • If you are not good at it, learn it. There is nothing wrong with it.
6. Succession planning will be downfall of most of the organizations
  • A lot of work needs to be done at organizational level
  • But also, awareness needs to be created among the individuals
7. As an individual, instead of saying, I want to grow in the organization, rather ask : What can I do to contribute to success of organizational goals?
  • Work on your IDP (individual development plan) with your manager
  • Discussion about career path should be easy, get a priority. Don’t delay this conversation.
  • Start talking to manager, peers and track the progress.


  • Get an IDP in place by working closely with your manager
    • 2 short term and 2 long term items
  • Promote your work
    • Nothing wrong in show to your manager your contribution for your organization
  • Instead of asking for promotion directly, ask for areas where you can contribute to achieve organization’s goals
  • Sit down and communicate with your manager in your 1:1 what your aspirations are!

Recommendations by Max for teams:


Team activities:

  • Something which is fun and crazy like Role climbing to see and show vulnerability and something which gets people out of their comfort zone.

About the guest on this episode:

Max Nicholson.

Max lives in Los Angeles and currently does Organization Development for a large Fortune 100 company. Max works on a team that creates the structure internally to help the organization thrive as it grows. This could mean team building, leadership development, organization design, coaching, or skills development.

Max has been doing this for two years and previously completed his MS in organizational psychology at the University of Southern California.