How to Ask for that Medical Affairs Promotion in 2022

November is finally here! Fall is in the air and the holidays are right around the corner. If you are already starting to think about how to best wrap up your projects and initiatives before the holiday shutdown and the New Year, I present you with a challenge. Start thinking about your career progression now!


The end of the year is a fantastic time to really start putting conscious thought and effort into your career path. “Why?” you may ask. For starters, review time is on the horizon for most within Medical Affairs. It’s vital you come into those meetings prepared while also not giving off the vibe that you are asking for a promotion just because “it’s that time of the year”. You must demonstrate that you deserve a growth opportunity by preparing valid and credible reasons.

Additionally, this is the time where we reflect on our accomplishments and create New Year resolutions and goals. Create a detailed list of all your accomplishments over the years and use this as talking points for why you deserve that promotion.

My last point as to why now is the time to think about career progression is because you should always be thinking about your goals and long-term career growth. It’s so important and will lead to your overall happiness and satisfaction in a role and with a company.


Now that you are ready to start thinking about promotions, the hard part begins. There are right and wrong ways to approach the discussion of growth opportunities and promotions with your hiring manager. PharmaFinders is here to help you navigate this topic so you can get to where you want and deserve to be:

First, determine what you want in a promotion. A promotion can be defined in many ways, so make sure you have reflected on exactly what you are wanting from this next step. For example, are you looking for just a salary bump? Are you okay with a lateral move but looking for a title change? Do you want managerial responsibilities? Is there a completely different role you would want to create? Not only determine but be able to articulate in detail what you want. That may mean preparing for any questions or objections that your boss may have during the conversation.

Simultaneously reflect on your accomplishments. As I mentioned briefly, start to create a list of achievements and goals that you hit or exceeded. This will help justify what you are asking for and will help you showcase that you could be an asset to the company and overall business model. If you have a mentor, they are a great resource to help you build your case and could also help advocate for you. A mentor might also be able to help identify any gaps/objections you might need to address so you can prepare for that as well.

Next, plant the seeds. You do not want to bring up a promotion with your boss and them be completely surprised. Prior to you asking explicitly for the grow opportunity, throughout conversations and meetings with your boss pepper in mentions of your long and short-term career goals and objectives. These can be more loosely defined goals through informal conversations, but you want to make sure regardless of the time of year that your employer knows you are a long-term thinker who is dedicated to the growth of the company.

Make sure you are confident but not cocky when approaching this topic with your boss. You must be your own biggest cheerleader and truly, only you can justify and correctly relay why you deserve that promotion. Make sure you approach your manager with honesty and integrity so you can facilitate an open dialogue.


Now plan that meeting and remember to be patient. Growth opportunities can take time so you have to come into this meeting with a realistic timeline, understanding that it may not happen right away. It also could occur in stages. However it may happen, it’s your responsibility to keep you company accountable and remember to ask your boss for regular feedback and advice on how you can get to that next level.

I recently posted on LinkedIn, but I wanted to reiterate that we at PharmaFinders love having personalized conversations about growth. Everyone’s career path and trajectory are different, so we would be more than happy to have a discussion with you to help you figure out what your next steps could be or the best way to get there. Reach out to any of us now and we’d be happy to help!

Remember, continuing to learn means continuing to grow – now go get that promotion!