3 Reasons To Ask For a Promotion Prior to Labor Day — And How to Go About Doing So

a woman and man talking in the office


Profile Picture
Taylor Tobin1.84k

In 2021, 47 million Americans quit their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While the Great Resignation has subsided to an extent, the ramifications are long-lasting. And the time could be right to ask for a promotion. 

We're in the midst of summer — that sleepy, warm, slightly-wistful time where everyone tries to squeeze in some late-season long weekends, the office dress code generally loosens up a bit and many employees enjoy their last few days of a slower work pace before the busy autumn season kicks in.

But if you’re interested in a promotion, this is no time to be lackadaisical. Late summer is actually one of the best times to propose a promotion, especially now. Here's why.

1. Summer is that sweet spot, time-wise.

A study by analytics firm Visier collected data from 3.5 million employees nationwide and found summer is the best time to ask for a promotion, mainly due to the calendar many companies follow for official processes like reviews and staff changes.

“Traditionally, organizations award promotions as recognition for a good year of performance. They usually follow a cycle, such as reviews in January and February, and raises and promotions locking in during the second quarter,” Ian Cook, the head of workforce solutions at Visier, said.

While the second quarter for most companies ended in June, the early part of the third quarter also proves a favorable time to talk to your boss about a promotion. However, Cook does caution against waiting too long to go for it, as the late fall is historically the worst time to put yourself forward for a status bump at work.
“[In late third quarter] companies are taking stock of the year and doing a financial wrap-up. They’re trying to get the year closed out, and make targets, budgets, and a plan built for next year. They aren’t thinking about promotions because they’re too busy. It’s a natural cycle driven by the financial calendar,” Cook explained.

2. Your company may be slowing down — but you don't have to.

In many fields, work slows down in July and August. People are on vacation, or they're feeling a bit sluggish. Perhaps your office has summer Fridays. 
Use this time to your advantage. You can take advantage of the slower time to brainstorm new initiatives. This will help you show your boss that you're constantly looking for ways to improve the business.

Quieter business periods also give you better odds of scheduling a meeting to talk about your progress. And if your boss is less swamped than usual, they'll be in a better mood — and better able to devote more attention to the promotion proposal. Both are good things for you.

3. The time is right to make a pivot.

If you decide that your best shot at the promotion you want involves a move to a new company, the lead-up to Labor Day is a prime time to scope out the possibilities. Cook claims that many positions open up in late summer as a direct result of summer vacations.
“When employees are away on holiday resting, they often think, ‘I’m killing myself at work.’ They decide it’s time to move, and come back and take action."
Now’s the time to make your move and sit your boss down for that promotion meeting (or to jump ship, if the right opportunity arises). Make it happen!
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for asking for a promotion? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!