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BLOG post with Athena Ali The Get Noticed Coach - questions to ask yourself before you ask for a public sector promotion

Questions to ask yourself before you ask for a 6-figure public sector promotion


Have you ever considered requesting an increase in your pay or band level?

For many individuals, this can be a scary task so you want to be well prepared before you ask for a 6-figure public sector job promotion.

The reason you’re stressed about it is because you don’t know if you’re ready and you’re really not sure what to ask and when.

Despite your apprehension, there are several things you need to answer for yourself before asking for a public sector job promotion and this is what we’ll be looking at in this blog post today.

Am I ready to ask for a promotion?

Most people I speak to automatically think their ready to ask for a public sector promotion when in reality they’ve never done an audit of their current skills and experience and looked at how to match it with their future role capabilities.

Consider questions like:

  • What projects have I undertaken that are over and above my current role that I excelled in?
  • Did I make a difference to the community and how can I measure that success?
  • How has my job description changed in the last 12 months and how similar is it to the higher role I’m seeking?

Do your homework and benchmark what you do in your role, what others do in theirs and also look at your future role.

Having this all prepared before asking will give you more confidence to ask when the time is right.

Is it worth asking?

You might think it’s time for a promotion but have you considered what you might need in order to excel in that next level role?

Do you possess the most essential skills and capabilities required?

Whilst you don’t always need every single attribute or skill required in that next level role, there will still be some essential or prioritised criteria and you need to find out what they are.

If you are unsure, consider these questions:

  • Does the new role require any additional qualifications? Do I possess them already?
  • Does my effort and expertise warrant a higher pay or band level beyond what I currently receive?
  • Am I adequately paid for my existing responsibilities?

Perhaps a rise within the band level might be more appropriate.

Will asking get me ahead?

Whether your request is accepted or not, it will get you ahead.

It will make your manager aware of your aspirations and they will either support you and look at ways to do this over time or they won’t.

If they do, create a plan for this in consultation with your manager.

If they don’t, then you need to consider your next steps and whether you need to look outside the department or into another business unit.

This will get you ahead because you’ve just put the train in motion!

My best advice is don’t make any rash decisions!

If you decide not to bring up your need for advancement with your manager, then you may find yourself languishing in a position when circumstances change, and believe me, they eventually will!

Being assertive about seeking a higher position will ultimately prove beneficial for you and is a skill that you will need when seeking a leadership role.

What’s the best way to ask for a promotion?

There is no one true strategy that can be used whenever you approach your supervisor or manager.

However, there are several things to consider:

  • Create a separate meeting for this discussion and tell your manager what it will be about
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. Arm yourself with all your facts and figures.
  • Ask. Really it is this simple. Tell them why you feel you deserve it and give them the facts and figures to prove it.
  • Negotiate. You might not get exactly what you want so you will need to come to a compromise or plan.

If you don’t get what you want when you ask, go back to the drawing board.

Take on your manager’s feedback and implement any suggestions.

If you feel that it was worth asking this time around but you weren’t given adequate reasons, you may have to reconsider whether it is worth staying where you are.

The key to getting career success lies in being proactive and creating a career plan.

So, if you didn’t get what you wanted this time, alter your approach or get the skills you need before you ask again.

Good luck!


If you’ve been ready for some time and you’re not getting to the roles you want when you apply, then I’d love to invite you to my Free Masterclass How to get noticed & land the public sector promotion you deserve!

Details and dates can be found by clicking the button below. 


Hi, I’m Athena Ali

The Founder of The Get Noticed Coach.

I help public servants and aspiring public servants

– articulate their brilliance in resumes and CVs that get hiring managers excited to see them,

– write key selection criteria that prove you’re the right person for the job quickly,

– create a personal brand that sells for you so that you are headhunted for 6 figure roles effortlessly, and

– arm you with confidence-boosting strategies for your next interview so that you impress the recruiters and hiring managers and get hired in a $100K+ public service job.

I’m for people who want to make a difference in the community and work with purpose in a senior public service role.

I use my unique marketing approach to help you get clear, get confident, get visible, and advance your career with my unique 6 step framework.

With over 13 years in the public service and landing every government role I applied for and wanted I am well placed to show you how I did it and how you can do it too!

I believe in you.