Posted on: February 27, 2024 Posted by: Christina Bronner Comments: 2

Prepare. Perform. Prove.

By: Watchen Nyanue Hampton


Courtesy of Marketing by Monrae

Hey there, Upscale family! I’m Watchen Nyanue Hampton, and I’m so excited to kick off our candid career chats in my new career advice column here with Upscale Magazine. Think of me as your work bestie for all things career – from real talk about climbing that corporate ladder to juggling life, work, and everything in between. I’ve been there and done that, and I’m here to share it all with you. I currently run “I Choose the Ladder,” a boutique consulting firm in Chicago that does employee retention, development, and engagement work for companies like Nike, McDonald’s, and Best Buy. You can learn more about me here.


Each month, I’ll be dishing out career advice, sharing my own stories, and maybe even spilling a little tea on how to make it in today’s wild professional corporate world. Whether you’re just starting out, looking for a change, or hustling to make that dream job a reality, I’ve got you. 


If you have a career question you want answered, email me at, and it could be answered in one of my upcoming columns. 


Now that we’ve gotten the introduction out of the way, let’s get to this month’s chosen submitted question.


Question: Hey Watchen, How are you? I was asked how my manager can help support my career growth. Is it inappropriate to say I want a promotion (not in those words) in my self-review? – Stephanie


Response: Hi Stephanie,

Courtesy of Amber Del Rio

Let me start by saying how it makes my heart smile that you are thinking about asking for what you want. We often think people will notice our work and offer us what we think we deserve, but unfortunately, that’s not how it works in corporate spaces. You have to be the person who advocates for what you have earned. We get the advice that we should put our heads down and do good work, and that’s how you move up the corporate ladder. While doing great work is essential, it’s not enough, unfortunately.


When I think about advocating for something like a promotion, I think about three things. How do you prepare, perform, and prove that you should have what you are advocating for? Here is how I would do those things during a self-review conversation.


Prepare: What were the things your success at work was being measured on during the previous year? It would help if you had them from your last review.


Perform: Looking back over the previous 12 months, how did you deliver against those things?


Prove: What receipts do you have to show that your performance justifies a promotion?


Once you have those data points, the last thing I advise is to make sure your ask is timebound and specific. Yes, you would like your manager to help you with a promotion, but when are you trying to get promoted? Your manager may use different strategies if you want to be promoted in 6 months vs. 18 months.


Use that data during your conversation with your manager to advocate based on facts, not how you feel.


If you need additional help, I invite you to join our free monthly career challenge. During the challenge, we spend a lot of time getting better at self-advocacy. You can learn more about the free challenge here.


About the Author: Watchen Nyanue Hampton is the Founder & CEO of the boutique consulting firm I Choose the Ladder and an expert talent management strategist, speaker, and facilitator who helps Fortune 500 companies keep their employees from quitting.

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