I've worked for a smallish (~200 employees) insurance provider for almost 5 years as a web developer. My 5 year review is next month and I think this review is a good time to reflect on the growth I've achieved over the last 5 years and look forward to what my future with the company might be.
Ultimately, I want to use the review to let my boss know that I'm interested in earning a promotion. I feel sort of directionless in this effort because there is no clear track for advancement in the company. We've had a few guys who have been with the company for a long time earn Business Analyst titles (ex: Software Developer/Business Analyst), some people in the company have earned "Senior" or "2nd Level" positions (ex: Senior PC Tech or Developer II), and then of course there a couple who have earned management positions.
All of that to say that if you asked me what I'm looking for, I'd struggle to answer eloquently. I've managed my projects well, offered unique solutions no one else had thought of, impressed clients on several occasions (to the point of them going out of their way to write kind reviews of my work to my boss), stayed late to hit important deadlines, and proved that I'm a reliable employee. But I don't know which of the previously mentioned titles is best for me.
My biggest concern is that there are currently no open positions so I can't say "I'd like to apply for X position."
Most of what I'm trying to communicate is that I'm eager for advancement and I need their help figuring out what that might look like, what the company may need from me, and what areas I might need to get better in so that I'll deserve it when the time comes.
I don't want to come across as demanding a promotion where there is none available. But pay is slightly lower than the industry average albeit not totally unreasonable (pretty typical for a non-profit like we are) and I don't know if I want to keep working for this company for another 5 years if there's nothing out there for me to achieve.
How should I approach this topic?