From Food Scientist to R&D Manager: Deserve a Promotion? Say the Right Things to Your Boss

December 16, 2013 in Career and Job Search Tips



Have you been called an overachiever? Are you bored with your current responsibilities and ready for fresh challenges? Do you think you’re the perfect choice for a promotion that’s available in your company?

Then it’s time for a conversation with your boss. Most good leaders want their employees to succeed and grow, but they may not always take the initiative. To move your executive food and beverage career forward, talk to your boss and let him know that you’re ready for the next step.

Not sure what to say? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Use these tips from Kinsa to approach the conversation the right way:


Schedule a private, one-on-one meeting well in advance. This gives you time to prepare and sets the right tone for this serious conversation. Let your boss know that you’d like to discuss your current position and opportunities for growth.

Choose the right moment. There may never be a “perfect time” to ask for a promotion, but you can and should consider these factors:

  • Your company’s financials. If your company is struggling, they may not be able to afford a higher salary for you.
  • Departmental or company dynamics. Has your company recently merged with another? Have departments been realigned? Are you rolling out new brands in the near future? Consider the workforce implications of situations like these before making your move.
  • Your boss’ work situation and preferences. Think about his current workload, stress level, upcoming trips/vacations and anything else that may impact how receptive he will be to your request.

Organize your case. If you just walk into the meeting and declare, “I want a promotion,” your request may not be taken seriously. Instead, be prepared to explain exactly why you deserve one:

  • List your biggest accomplishments. Consider everything you’ve helped your company achieve. Include: successful projects you’ve worked on; new initiatives you’ve tackled; sales, quality or safety goals you’ve exceeded; and innovative ideas you’ve proposed that have benefited your company.
  • Be specific. Quantify your accomplishments and list measurable results.
  • Show how you’ve been an exceptional team member – not just an adequate one.

Name the position you want. If there’s a specific job opening you want, then this part is easy. It’s more likely, however, that your ideal position is either not available or doesn’t even exist within the company. So if the opportunity isn’t there, create it. Examine your company’s current and future needs, looking for ways you could use your skills to improve daily operations or generate more revenue. Then, develop a list of examples that prove why you’re the perfect person for these new responsibilities.


Compare yourself to other employees. Even if you feel you’re more qualified for, or deserving of, a promotion, don’t say it. You’ll gain more ground by keeping the focus on your accomplishments than by whining that so-and-so was promoted more quickly than you.

Threaten your boss. Avoid the temptation to hint – even subtly – that you may be forced to look for opportunities elsewhere. Attempting to pressure your boss into promoting you will certainly not be appreciated and could backfire.

Assume that your boss sees things your way. Although your accomplishments may be impressive, your boss may not think they’re enough to warrant promoting you. So keep an open mind. If he thinks you’re not ready to move up, find out why. Ask what else you can do to prepare yourself – and write those things down. Show him that you’re determined to continue doing a great job and will do whatever is necessary to move to the next level.

Want to take the next step in your career? Kinsa can help.

Ready to move from Regional Sales Manager to Director of National Accounts? Are you an experienced Plant Quality Assurance Manager who’s ready to become a Corporate Director of Quality and Food Safety? Kinsa Group offers the career guidance and opportunities you need. With over 25 years in executive food & beverage recruitment, we’re experts in matching industry professionals and senior-to-executive management candidates with career growth opportunities throughout the United States.

What can we do for you? Search executive food and beverage jobs here or contact Kinsa today.