Strategies for Moving Up the Corporate Ladder

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Strategies for Moving Up the Corporate Ladder

Promotions do not easily come on their own and are certainly not a given. Your skills, experience, reputation, and work ethic are all factors that will help you secure a promotion. Successful workers create their own path to promotion; they don’t rely on luck. Remember that a promotion is not always an upward path. You may need to make a lateral move to position yourself for an upward move.

Be visible. Concentrate on doing the best you possibly can in your current position. Excellent performance reviews aren’t sufficient enough to get you a promotion, but they’re necessary for it. So are good attendance, punctuality and a willingness to go the extra mile when the company needs it.

Seek mentoring relationships. A strong relationship with a manager or someone higher up in your department can open a lot of doors for you. For one thing, you’ll likely learn a lot about the organization and about the jobs you might want to get in the future. Some companies have formal mentoring programs, but even if your company does not, there are still ways you can build relationships with people in higher positions in the company.

Quantify results. While promotions are not necessarily based on your past performance, you can certainly make a much better case for a promotion by showing detailed information about your past successes. Keep a record of everything you do that enhances the company’s bottom line, that puts the company or your department in a good light, that is creative and innovative, and that shows your loyalty and commitment to the organization.

Acquire new skills. It goes without saying that one of the best ways to succeed in getting a promotion is to expand your knowledge and skills sets in areas that are critical to the organization. As technology and other environmental forces change rapidly, you need an ever-increasing skill set to perform your job and stay marketable.

Develop your people skills. Relationships with others become more important as your career advances. Because senior roles demand a higher level of political sensitivity, you must be able to tactfully navigate through the minefield of office politics. Show your professionalism by always communicating openly and transparently.

Build your network. The more people who know you, know your strengths and abilities, know your value to the organization, and know your ambitions, the more likely your name will be discussed when opportunities arise.

Be a team player. Because so much of work is now accomplished through teams, it becomes even more important to share successes with your team and to avoid pointing your finger when there are failures. By being a team player, you can build your reputation and increase your value to the organization.

Embrace change. The inability to cope with change can make managers unwilling to promote otherwise capable employees. Whether it’s a revision to your hours, budget or team, don’t moan about how unhappy you are – actively seek ways of making the changes work for you instead.

Create your own opportunities – don’t wait for them to come to you. After assessing the needs and challenges of the organizations, if you see an area that has been neglected – and you have key skills in that area – write a proposal for a new position. Even if the company does not go for the new position, you have again shown your initiative, creativity, and value to the firm.

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