The corporate ladder is not a stairway to heaven, no, it is a mine field that’s rigged with tons of booby traps designed to make sure that you fail somewhere along the steps. But if you’re smart and can figure it out, then you might just have a shot at making it to the top where all the “heavenly” benefits awaits you. The key is to have a plan that has been thoroughly reviewed and is based on previous plans that have been proven to work in career improvement (it may include inspirations from well-known people who managed to succeed despite the challenges they faced in their own careers also) and a well-thought out steps in executing such a plan.
Do try out these 16 things to fast-track your way into the corporate ladder:
1. Make a Plan
– The first mistake that employees make is not having a plan. Most of them just bounce through their career like a pinball in a pinball game, thinking that it’s enough for them to land the job and leave the rest up to fate. You need to have a plan since day 1 at the job and it should determine what you ought to accomplish every 5 years in your career. If it’s not working, then you can do any of these 3 things; a) work harder to improve your job performance, b) change plans or, c) change careers.
2. Get an Education
– Getting a special double-degree education is what’s in these days, because it’s very advantageous. It easily puts you on supervisory/managing positions as you have more knowledge and expertise on the job that you were appointed to. Attending seminars and getting certifications are also a career plus move which not only improves your chances at getting promoted, but also earning more than the average worker.
– It is a common misconception among job seekers that you should only use your connections in your network of friends, colleagues and second/third degree friends or acquaintances when you need to get a job. Afterwards it will be a long cold and dead silence; however, this concept is wrong. You don’t stop interacting with your network to get new opportunities even inside the current company you’re working at.
4. Work Hard
– There is no substitute for good ‘ol hard work. It always gets things done no matter what.
5. Dream Beyond the Job Description
– While not ignoring present responsibilities to the job post you were assigned to, it is important to exceed beyond what you are expected to do. Performance that’s beyond expectations is often rewarded and that should be one of your priorities. As the saying goes, “work hard for what you want, because it won’t come to you without a fight.”
6. Develop an “I will do whatever it takes to get the job done” Attitude
– It’s been proven scientifically that people who adjust their attitude towards a challenge or a problem are more likely to make better or bad outcomes. For example, if you’ve been asked by your boss to temporarily assume a job, which was left vacant by a previous employee who left without notifying the company, and work 3 – 4 hours more than your other co-workers in exchange for a 15% salary increase until the company can find a replacement. Your behavior towards the problem in this case will either cause your boss to notice your unusual resilience or you not being able to organize yourself enough to handle the job. Think about it, this could be an opportunity for you to get promoted and all you have to do is be patient and suck it up for a few months or so. Therefore it is good to have a “go and no stop” attitude in situations like this as it benefits you in several ways.
7. Become a Resource
– Nowadays, freelancing is trending on the web and most jobs/projects clients offer requires extensive skills and knowledge. Gaining new skills and knowledge will be advantageous for you as you will not be stagnant in only what you know about your job and your company, but will eventually become a versatile person with multiple skills, training and experience in your resume. With the recession is still on the roll and you may never know when it will hit us again, it would be wise to be ready for when the storm comes. Usually companies do massive layoffs of their employees in order to save the company and start over; you, on the other hand, will survive by lurking in web-based brokerage firms offering consultancy services and continue to earn even if you’ll be laid off from your current job. You’ll feel safer and confident this way and it is a very rewarding feeling to know that you can depend on yourself for survival as well.
8. Dress for Success
– In your youthful days you dress to impress, now you have to dress for success. Aside from developing a positive outlook in life and work, you must also embrace the idea that one day you’ll be at the executive department of the company you work for. Moreover, it also gives the impression on your bosses that you’re not only here for short term goals, no; you’re here because you mean business.
9. Get to Know Your Company and Your Boss
– Understanding company culture is the first step in becoming part of the company. Do background research on your bosses and other company execs, find out the company’s mission and vision, get to know the people in your department and elsewhere (if you can’t establish a direct connection from the workplace, then do it in LinkedIn or other social media sites where your company’s page is situated). The more you know about your boss and co-workers, then better you can relate to them.
10. Keep an Ongoing Success File
– Normally, if your performance is good with the company, then you should have notable achievements from time to time; do not let them go to waste and make people forget what you’ve done to help move the company forward with its goals. List down all your achievements and when the annual review comes, show that list to your bosses. It’s not about bragging but rather it’s about advancing in the company ranks.
11. Be Keenly Aware of Broader Company Goals
– Strategically place yourself where company goals are discussed and planned in order to achieve them. You can then give intelligent suggestions to your boss or a co-worker who maybe 2 steps closer to that table than you can get to right now and if they realize your potential to help the business grow (even if you only served as an indirect insight), then your boss and co-workers are likely to recognize your usefulness and might get you inside the team to help them first hand. Then don’t hold back in shinning your light.
12. Consider Yourself a Free Agent
– While loyalty is good in the company you’re currently connected with, it is unwise not to keep your options open. That’s because you never know when new opportunities arrive and if you’re extremely adamant in staying with the company you work for, you might miss out the benefits of new job offers. Always keep your options open and don’t be afraid to jump aboard new and exciting opportunities which could change your life forever.
13. Think and Act a Level Above
– This is something rather difficult to do, but in reality you can do like 70% focus on your current responsibilities and dedicate 30% in attempting to “think and act” beyond what you’ve been assigned to do. Your angle here is to get noticed – not in the obvious kind of way – but in subtlety by applying subliminal messages on the things that you do. Sooner or later your boss will see that leadership qualities you possess and put you in your rightful place in order for the company to benefit from you further.
14. Be an Initiator, not just an Executor
– An executor, in this case, is the average employee who just does whatever his/her superiors orders them to do. Meanwhile, an initiator is someone who also follows orders, except they have a good initiative and provide results that are beyond what was expected of them. Now it’s up to you which role you want to take, but know this: initiators always reach the top the fastest than any other type of employees.
15. Be a Team Player
– While the main drive to succeed for people in the corporate world is competition, you should also understand that the other aspect of success includes being a team player. Why do you need to be a team player? Because every boss, manager, supervisor or company executive is a team player too! How do you think they’ve been able to manage a huge number of people who depend on them for leadership? So be aggressive in a nice way and if you want to be so determined in pleasing your superiors, then don’t forget to include your co-workers on your way up to the corporate ladder.
16. Express Appreciation
– They say that a single drop of water in the pond can create ripples that affects everything else in it. The same is true when you project a positive outlook in life. For instance, there was an employee who happened to meet the company’s CEO on the hallway to the Human Resources Department and she thanked him for the company emails that the employees receive each week. She noted that it helped her do her job much better as the CEO himself gives helpful tips for day-to-day work. Later on the employee’s boss informed her that the CEO asked for her name. She’ll obviously be on his list of potentials for job promotion soon!
Sometimes you just need a head start in order to get to the top and this article is a good way to go about it. So brace yourself and get ready to be the best that you could ever be!