People focus their attention on climbing the corporate ladder for several reasons like to:
- Acquire more wealth to protect their future
- Gain greater influence
- Grow professionally
Lynette Lewis, a business consultant and author of Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos, says “every person working will typically have the desire to move up, or perhaps the better way to say it is they will want to grow. Growth is a natural sign of being alive, so it is healthy to want to expand, develop, and advance both personally and professionally.”
However, climbing the corporate ladder isn’t usually an easy and straightforward career path.
Ford Myers, a career coach and author of Get The Job You Want Even When No One’s Hiring, explains “the culture has changed and people no longer stay at one firm for the entirety of their career. In the 1970s or 1980s, it was assumed you’d join a company, work hard, pay your dues, and climb up the ladder at the firm. Those were the unwritten rules of the game. But the world has changed.”
The rules of climbing the corporate ladder may have changed but most people still want to grow professionally, reach the top, and acquire wealth even if it means they have to do it more laterally.
Andy Teach, a corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practice Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time, states “most, but not all, still want to move up the corporate ladder, but climbing up isn’t always done in a straight line. Some workers make lateral moves to other companies, hoping there is more room for advancement at their new company.”
Here, we provide some tips on climbing the corporate ladder in today’s job market from the above quoted experts.
Have a Plan For Climbing The Corporate Ladder
According to Myers, to achieve your full potential you must have a long-term career plan which focuses on where you want to end up at the height of your career, as well as the steps you need to take in the interim to make sure you get there.
Make adjustments as you go but it’s crucial to plan early in your career.
Build a Strong Network
A strong and solid network is essential to grow a successful career. Make sure to network within your company and externally online and offline. Teach explains “the more people you know and who know you, and like you, the better.”
Work Smart and Work Hard
Always do the best work possible and aim to contribute more than the job description. In climbing the corporate ladder, Lewis states “don’t let yourself be limited by what you are officially assigned to do.”
Myers explains “this does not mean ignoring present responsibilities; it means working beyond achievements which are obvious or expected. Do more than most people, work harder and longer. Treat everything with urgency and volunteer for high-visibility projects. Always seek to contribute more, and be known as the go-to person or the get-it-done person. There is no replacement for hard work and smart work.”
Proactive people move forward, look to the future, and make things happen. They actively engage instead of passively observe.
Teach says he “believes 90 percent of employees are executors, but it is the other 10 percent who initiate, who do things they are not asked to do, who move up the ladder the quickest.”
Be a Team Player
Teach explains being a valuable team member can open new career opportunities and help your career because your supervisors look carefully to see how well you work with others.
Lewis adds “the ability to win friends and influence others is a skill needed increasingly as you move up in any organization.”
Become a Resource
Continue to hone your own skills and knowledge outside the job to advance in your career. Myers explains being an expert in your industry gives you credibility not only within your company but outside in your field—and thus helps climbing the corporate ladder.
Build relationships with others in your industry as this can open up significant opportunities for mentoring and promotion. Lewis advises “read, study, and follow industry leaders on social media, and attend industry conferences. This helps you grow beyond your job to know the industry and others in it.”
A simple thank you can go a long way.
“I learned the value of this one time when I saw our CEO walking through the atrium at lunch. He did not know me but I thanked him for his weekly voicemails I knew he intended to be informative and encouraging to the workforce. Not 30 minutes later my boss told me the CEO had asked what my name was, and I realized my simple gesture of appreciation had left a positive impression. From that point forward the CEO called me by name.”
Following the above mentioned tips can help you achieve your career ambitions of climbing the corporate ladder.