Everyone wants to grow in life. Yes, everyone. In fact, nothing is as frustrating to many of us, than the sense of not growing or making strides in our lives. We want to progress from A to B. This goes for almost all aspects of our lives.
Every career success story is unique. While there isn’t a magic answer for taking your career to the top, following these ten steps will get you headed up the corporate ladder.
1. Reassess your career.
It has often been said that, “if you don’t know where you’re from, you can’t know where you’re going.” Well a little twist can be given to this statement to say, “if you don’t know where you are, you can’t know where to go next.”
Is your career path well aligned with your priorities and interest? Do you posses, or can you acquire the experience and education to be successful? If not, consider a lateral move and work your way up from there.
2. Clearly define your career goals.
Nothing is as hard as trying to do something without defined goals. Following the SMART framework, it is therefore, essential to have your goals set. To give your climb a little oomph you want to have both short-term and long-term goals.
Short-term goals will help you in monitoring progress as the journey continues and may even be a source of encouragement. Only when you know exactly where it is you want to go, will you be able to map out your plan to get there.
3. Create a development plan.
Have a strategy in place. Determine the steps you need to take for your next promotion. Include resources and due dates. Schedule these activities in your planner and follow through.
Unfortunately, for many people, goals remain goals. You don’t want to gamble with your career in that manner.
4. Communicate your career goals with management.
Many companies value retaining their staff, but at times have to employ new and lay-off the old if necessary competencies are not readily available within their walls.
If you work in an organization that promotes employee development, communicate your goals with your manager and ask for his or her support. Communicating with the management can even secure you support from them. If you are concerned about resistance, find a mentor within the organization that you can trust.
5. Volunteer to spearhead a new project.
Take initiative and assume new responsibilities. It’ll help you grow faster in the world of work.
This shows initiative, puts you in a visible position, and builds new skills. It also gives you the opportunity to showcase your leadership skills.
6. Stay current in your field.
The world of work changes rapidly. Industries change. As a result, many professional have already become rusty. That is, they are no longer in touch with the current trends in their fields.
Follow the trends in your field. Read industry publications and reports. Be aware of changing trends and position yourself accordingly.
7. Take classes or obtain a certification.
There is simply no way we can overlook the significance of continued learning in growing in your career. Use your industry knowledge to your advantage.
Take a course in an up and coming area or a specialty that will benefit your organization and give you an edge over the competition. You have to learn and perhaps, if you desire, you might even change careers as life goes on.
8. Assume a leadership role.
Climbing the corporate ladder means you will be heading to a management position. So assuming leadership when opportunities arise may be foundational in your preparation.
Offer to mentor a junior associate in your organization, apply for a position on a local board, or chair a committee for a nonprofit organization.
9. Network, Network, Network.
You have to connect with other professionals within your organization and within the community. Get to know and be known.
These can expand your understanding around the industries you have interest in and hook you up with opportunities that would, otherwise remain hidden from your side. No one ever got to the top alone.
10. Excel in your current position.
Exceptional performance speaks for itself. Demonstrate that you’re ready to take on more responsibilities. You won’t get ahead with mediocre performance, regardless of how many other steps you implement.