Question: I’ve been working in the same organization for a decade. My job title is a Financial Analyst, and my direct report is the financial operations manager. During the past 18 months, both of us had to work at two locations, rotating with one another throughout the week. At some point, the company found that rotating us between the locations was an inefficient way to function, and I was assigned my manager’s duties at one of the locations while she was put in charge at the other. Since the plant isn’t big, we had to handle everything ourselves, including general office management, benefits, financial issues, human resource related issues, etc. Along with these current responsibilities, I now manage the administrative assistant at the plant. Despite having to handle these additional responsibilities, I was not given a promotion or raise.
I’ve held the current position for over a month now and handled several crisis effectively along with the completion of our office remodeling. I’m doing similar work that previous managers and my current manager is doing. I want to ask for a promotion and have my job title changed to assistant financial manager, at the very least. How should I go about doing it?
Answer: You have to consider two aspects before asking for a promotion. First, you should ask to be promoted to a manager since you are functioning as one. An assistant manager would be someone that helps a manager performs his or her job duties. You are handling the plant independently, and not helping someone else manage it; so you should have the human resource department and/or your supervisor classify you as a manager.
Secondly, you have to consider whether or not you have all of the necessary experience and skills required to function as a manager? Although you are functioning as a manager, it is possible that you may not have the necessary skills to be classified as one. If this is the case, you should certainly use this opportunity to observe and learn as much as possible, so you can gain some knowledge in becoming a manager. In about three months, you should remind your human resource department and current manager that you have been functioning as a manager and you would like to know when the organization plans on promoting you to the new role. You should also discuss the possibility of receiving additional human resource training and any other courses that may help you become a great manager.
The reason why I want you to wait three months before asking for a promotion, it will allow you to demonstrate to your current manager that you can operate as a manager. Also, it will show that you are committed to the organization and willing to take on new responsibilities to support the overall objectives of the organization. Additionally, it will portray you as a team player, and making it difficult for your organization to claim that the position is only temporary.
You should give it some time before speaking with your human resource department. Remember, you should ask to be classified as a manager rather than an assistant manager.