Many expect to read short cuts when they search for tips on how to move up the corporate ladder. The fact is clear, there are no short cuts no matter how much one wants to believe in it. It is all too easy to think that the way up the corporate ladder is through connections and networking.
And while there is no denying there are the lucky few who know how to move up the corporate ladder because they know someone important, fact remains to sustain being in that position, it takes skills and knowledge. Not to mention the respect and trust someone would have to earn to command the authority to lead and manage and team.
So how do we average Joes move up the corporate ladder? There are a few tried and tested tips – if you like to call them that – and while they may sound cliché they have worked for ages.
1. Be a Leader
This may sound counter-intuitive considering that you are a newbie at work. How does one become a leader when they are at the bottom of the hierarchy? Being a leader means taking a leadership stance. Inspire and motivate the people around you. Develop cooperation amongst colleagues. Learn to keep morale high regardless of good or bad times in the office.
The thing to remember here is not to issue instruction. You are not the boss... yet! Even when you are the boss, you won't need to issue instruction necessarily, even though a boss’s request is often times seen as instruction. You need to take charge. Taking charge here means to take responsibility for what your role and responsibilities are within the office. Do not sit by the sidelines waiting for instructions. Take initiatives and be a leader to yourself!
2. Generate Ideas
Ideas are currency in the corporate world. Now, it doesn’t mean you go hand your boss any old idea that pops into you head; that would drive any boss nuts! But coming up with ideas to improve the system in the office, increase productivity in your department, or how to keep staff motivation up...now those ideas are worth any good bosses time.
Of course, if it has got to do with directly increasing the bottom line, all the better. Ideas can come from anyone. Even though you are a junior in the office, it doesn’t mean you cannot come up with a good idea. Maybe your ideas can be crafted and molded better in the hands of someone with more experience. In that case, do not be afraid to share credit. Learning how to share credit is something you need to learn if you want to know how to move up the corporate ladder.
3. Be Willing to Work Hard
You knew this was coming didn’t you? Be willing to work hard is probably the toughest to swallow for many newbies at work. If you want to know how to move up the corporate ladder, you need to ask yourself how badly do you want it? Do you want it bad enough that you are willing to work hard for it? Work really hard for it? To climb the corporate ladder takes lots of personal sacrifices. Is it something you are willing to do?
There are no special formulas for how to move up the corporate ladder. Wherever you start, you need to work hard. We hear of people getting that promotion based on connection all the time. Sure it happens. But rest assured any managers worth working for would rather give the promotion to someone with a winning attitude rather than connections. Besides, chances are people who know how to move up the corporate ladder that way cannot sustain their position. And they hold it with a ghost in their heart knowing they did not earn it.
4. Do Not Scheme
Which brings us to our next advice on how to move up the corporate ladder. Do not scheme. Please, whatever you do and however tempting – do not scheme. The amount of time you take to plot your moves and plan your strategy is better used for generating ideas, working hard and improving yourself. Doing all these positive things has more long-term benefits than you know.
Now that is not to say you should not have a career plan. Yes, plan your career path. What you need to learn, skills to improve, maybe even places to be transferred to should be carried out in order to reach your goals. What we are referring to here is scheming when to do what, who to see, what important meeting to impress whom and plotting it all the way. When you plan to outsmart, impress and compare, you will run out of stamina. Such behavior is not sustainable without it taking a toll on real performance. When you scheme people will notice, higher ups will notice too. They will find it hard to trust someone like that at the top. Think about it. Is it worth it playing games?
When you do the right thing and do things right, the answer of how to move up the corporate ladder will come naturally. Work hard and deliver the results beyond the expected and you will soon be moving UP.
The single most important factor in climbing the corporate ladder is integrity. Sure you can work head, be a team player, act as a leader to yourself and your coworkers, but at the end of the day if you don't have integrity you don't have much.
This post is all about climbing the corporate ladder so career shifts and company moves are a part of the life but when parting ways from a job or a position always make sure it is done with grace. There is no need to rub a promotion in a coworkers face just like there is no reason to cry if you get fired. Showing respect will get you a lot further regardless of a promotion or demotion.
Remember climbing the corporate ladder requires time, patience, and resilience. There is no magic word that will make you the boss over night. It's the people who have had the worst bosses that make the best bosses. The ones who refuse to give up, always keep search, and never settle for being average; those are the true lynchpins!