One of the more surprising aspects about a career is that you often have to ask for a promotion. Many of us pictured our managers as having our best interests at heart and moving us along a career path. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially if you are doing a great job. Managers tend to keep people they consider irreplaceable and move the less competent. The thought of asking for a promotion is frightening but here are some ideas to get you prepared to face your manager.

Prove Your Worth

Show your supervisor specific, quantifiable results, like “Reduced expenses 20% by changing vendors and negotiating new contract.” The more objective ammunition you have about your accomplishments, the more likely the boss will be to argue on your behalf with his supervisor.

Don’t specifically ask for a promotion – tell your boss that you are ready for more responsibilities. This gives your boss the option of gradually increasing your job duties and giving you time to adjust. However, if after a few months you don’t get the promotion, let him know that your job duties no longer match your old job description and that you are ready to move up.

Be Proactive but Respectful

Discuss your career with your boss away from the workplace, if possible. Go to lunch some place where you know you won’t be interrupted and will have his attention. If that is not possible, schedule an appointment, a block of time that is specifically set aside for you.

Don’t make threats or demands and especially don’t mention that you have been offered a job elsewhere. During the discussion, your boss may make promises to you. Give him time to work on your promotion. However, if time passes and nothing has been done, let him know that you will be applying for open management positions outside of his department.

You may be irreplaceable to your manager. You have your area under control and he does not want to lose your expertise. This situation can slow down your career. Be a team player and start training a co-worker. This will show your boss that someone else can do your job if properly trained.