I've had career discussions with my boss a few times and brought up the subject of promotion. They don't dismiss it but keep postponing it. My reviews have all been meets expectations and last review was exceeds expectations on one dimension (we use two dimensions - Business Results and Leadership). I feel I am genuinely due for promotion - have contributed enough and been at current level for enough time. What is the best way to give my manager an ultimatum?

  • 8
    See this - How to give a polite ultimatum? - but the real answer is "you don't". Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 16:45
  • 2
    I would recommend inquiring 3 times and then leaving. No explicit ultimatums. Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 17:03
  • It is unlikely that your boss will give you a promotion/raise now if you come and ask for it today because he has not given you raise for a long time and kept postponing it. The best way forward is to look for a new job because you will get a much bigger raise/promotion with a new company. Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 21:00
  • Is this really about promotion or a raise? Promotions are typically formal recognitions of factually increased responsibilities, see this for example. Unless you're doing more than is expected of you (which apparently you don't), you're not ready for promotion.
    – mustaccio
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


You don't give ultimatums.

You need to be frank with your boss:

"I feel I've achieved everything I can in my current role, and there is no room left for growth. I am interested in developing my leadership skills. Is there a role for me here that I can work within to do that?"

Put it all on them, but as a question, not as a demand.

If the answer is "No," then you can look elsewhere and have a good reference later on.

  • 3
    Let me get back to you
    – MattH
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 23:04
  • 3
    @MattH - sure boss, lets schedule that for this time next week.
    – brhans
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 1:19
  • 2
    @MattH - well, a "no answer" is a "no" answer, so ... Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 5:44

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