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How To Get A Promotion By Being More Assertive

Working hard, meeting deadlines, and being enthusiastic about your job can help you get promoted. However, without assertiveness, your efforts could be in vain. Being assertive in the workplace can help you get what you want. It helps eliminate the fear of rejection and allows you to boldly present ideas to your boss and colleagues.

Assertiveness doesn't come naturally to everyone. Some people don’t know how to develop it. But with some effort, you can become more assertive and get the raise you deserve. Read on for tips on how to be more assertive at work.

Table Of Contents

Can Being More Assertive Help You Get a Promotion?

In short, yes—but it’ll take more than walking into your boss’s office and demanding it. Being assertive means you’re not afraid to speak your mind. Putting yourself and your ideas out there can open your boss’s eyes to what more you can offer.

Do you feel like you’re being underutilized? Don’t shy away from asking for harder assignments. Your willingness to go above and beyond puts you in a better position for a promotion.

Stress, anxiety, and mental disorders can leave you feeling out of control or unproductive. Assertive behavior can be a self-esteem booster and helps reduce stress levels. Clearly, being assertive provides both mental health and workplace benefits.

Being assertive empowers you to take charge of your situation—whether that means asking for a raise or taking on more responsibility.

man working in office

The Difference Between Being Assertive & Passive

Assertiveness and passiveness couldn't be farther from each other. Assertive people make things happen by taking charge. Passive people prefer inaction. They’d rather choose to let things happen. Here’s how to differentiate assertiveness and passiveness.

Conflict Views

A passive person will try to avoid conflict. They’ll choose to go with the flow, putting aside their feelings, thoughts, or ideas.

Do any of these passive statements sound familiar: "Whatever you prefer" or "If you think that's best, let's go with it."

It’s not a bad thing to yield out of politeness—but assertive people won’t let their ideas be trampled on. They’ll be firm and welcoming of conflict to resolve the issues.


Sometimes you have to be your own advocate, especially if you want that promotion. Passive people struggle with this because they often place others’ needs and wants before their own.

Assert yourself! You know how hard you’ve worked to get here. Now it’s about voicing it to those who need to hear it.


Think about the interactions you have on a typical day. Do you feel you’re always trying to please instead of just being you?

You don’t have to be a people pleaser—you’re more than capable of garnering respect without sucking up to the boss. Being polite is one thing, but simply being your authentic self can help management see your full potential.

man in suit straightening his tie

3 Tips To Be Your Best (Assertive) Self

Struggling with being assertive? Here are some tips to help you out.

1. Know Your Rights

It's easy to be bullied at work when you don't know your rights. Find out what you are entitled to in the workplace, including the legal and ethical boundaries.

2. Be Confident

If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Let the fear of rejection, conflict, or criticism go. Confidence can give you the momentum to assert yourself.

3. Practice Eye Contact

When talking to a person, look them in the eye. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but direct eye contact lets others know you’re giving full attention. Eye contact takes time to master, so practice with someone you are comfortable with first.

The Bottom Line

To get to where you want in life, you need to put yourself out there. Shooters shoot. The first step is to identify the right situation to assert yourself—whether that’s a simple interaction or a pivotal discussion with your boss. Start small if you need to, but what’s most important is that you try. You miss every shot you don't take.

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