The coined term “Climbing the Corporate Ladder” often represents the progress made inside an organization while moving from entry-level to mid and upper-level positions through successes and promotions garnished because of the time and commitment someone has put into their career.
The prospect of moving up in a company can keep you excited about and engaged in your work. The potential for a promotion or career advancement is a significant motivator for most employees as it typically results in a higher salary, greater responsibility, and more authority. The actions, decisions, and performance you exhibit in your early career and beyond will be critical factors that will help set you up for the promotions you will need to work your way to the top.
To continue climbing the corporate ladder, you should continue to take steps to improve your performance and impress those who can give you a path forward. If you’re hoping to move up in your company, follow this list of essential steps:
Make a Plan and Set Goals
A plan is necessary as your roadmap to your next career goal. It can be a short-term or long-term plan—but have a plan! Make both short-term and long-term goals because you need both. Short-term goals can be easier to set and achieve, while long-term goals give you a big-picture view of your ultimate goals. Setting short-term goals can keep you motivated and should help you accomplish your long-term goal.
Interact with people inside your company and in the industry to expand your list of professional contacts. The more people you know, the better for your career. The more people in your field who know who you are, what you do, and what values and skills you bring to a company, the more likely someone will mention your name when a promotion or job opportunity presents itself.
Work Harder Than the Rest and Beyond the Job Description
It is true what they say—hard work pays off! When your goal is to climb the ladder at work, go above and beyond the minimal and expected requirements. Your job description might be limited, but that shouldn’t limit you. Put in the effort and time by contributing more, seeking out high-visibility projects, and making yourself stand out above the rest with your persistence in your work. Do whatever is assigned to you, then ask what else you can do. Help wherever and whenever you can, any way you can.
Be an Asset to Your Company
When possible, find opportunities to advance your education through certifications, additional classes, or seminars that are beneficial to you and your company.
By continuing to up-skill and learn new things, you will find yourself in a valuable position, and your company will be more likely to award you promotions based on your continued growth in knowledge.
Be a Team Player
Few things are more attractive to an employer than an employee that can work well with the rest of the team. If you position yourself as a team player, it will be an advantage to your career. Your ability to collaborate, cooperate, and team build with others is a quality that employers will consider when looking to advance your career.
Though sometimes overlooked, maintaining a clean and professional appearance will set you apart from other colleagues competing for a promotion. Look and act professionally—all of the time. Maintain a positive attitude, even in a challenging situation, and solve problems rather than complain about them. In addition, show your leadership team that you are dependable and dedicated.
Create Opportunities Where There is a Need
Within your department, look for problems that need to be addressed or need a resolution and propose ways to solve them. Create a job description for a position that meets those needs and tell your leadership team you want to fill that role. While this may not lead to an immediate promotion, it will show your ambition, problem-solving and creative thinking skills.
Be a Leader
One of the easiest ways to stand out among the rest and work your way up the ladder at work is to show your leadership skills in all that you do. Be the person colleagues come to for help and want to work alongside. And when an opportunity arises to take responsibility for something, take it! Take the initiative to lead committees, organize company events or outings, and don’t shy away from mingling with the other leaders in your organization.
Exude confidence and become the leader you are meant to be.
Getting that promotion and working your way up the corporate ladder is great, but remember, it takes time and requires patience. Though you may sometimes feel that you are not rewarded adequately for your hard work, when you are able to recognize that promotions take time and do the things to set yourself up for the climb, you will be in the best position for your inevitable growth in your company or career.