All the Way to the Top of the Corporate Ladder

Getting to the top of the corporate ladder is everyone's dream. However don't wait for a miracle to happen to take your career to the pinnacle. You have to work hard and think strategically to make your perception meet reality.

There isn't any formula to get you to the top instantly. However, with the following tips you can head up the corporate ladder.

Make Your Work Visible
You may be the best employee any employer can get but until and unless anyone acknowledges your hard work, all goes in vain. Toot your own horn about your accomplishment and dedication because if you don't do it no one else may do it on your behalf. There is no harm in taking credit for your work. Make your employers aware of amount of time and effort you spent on an assigned task. Take ownership of a task and prove that your boss was right to trust you with the responsibility. This recognition will help you climb the ladder more quickly. Volunteer to mentor colleagues and conduct training classes for the new employees. These extra efforts will not go unnoticed by supervisors.

However, going the extra mile does not mean kowtowing. You don't need to be a 'yes-man' to be on your boss's good books. Let your work do the trick. Just concentrate on your work and make sure others are aware of what you are doing.

Meet and Greet
Make yourself visible too along with your work. The best way to do this is through active networking within your organization and community. Interact with managers and other affluent individuals of your organization. Remember, networking is the key to success. Communicate your career goals and skills to management.

Networking is an integral part of developing a successful career. Build a good network so that you are alerted of opening even before they're announced. Participate in meet-ups, social gatherings, workshops, team events, etc and showcase your leadership and organizational skills. Remember that people do notice these attitudes which make you stand out in the crowd.

Push Yourself Up
Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. They may not be handed to you in silver platter, in such cases you have to work hard to make things happen. Remember, luck occurs when hard work meets opportunity. Keep yourself aware of the future opportunities through your network.

We are living in a dog eat dog world where no one will help you to get the promotion they have been waiting so long. Hence, remain competitive and help yourself to go up the ladder.

Plan Your Move
It is never too late to envision your career and see if it is on the right track. Push the envelope and set clear, optimistic and attainable goals that will give an upward thrust to your career. Create a growth chart. Chalk out the steps you need to take for your next promotion. Always upgrade your skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the crowd in your field. Concentrate on the job in hand and excel in your current position. You won't get ahead with mediocre performance, regardless of how many other steps you implement.

Take Necessary Risks
Don't be afraid to move out of your comfort zone and try something new. If necessary accept a position with a new company if it will take you closer to your ultimate goals. Volunteer for difficult assignments but beware of suicide missions. Learn to identify whether the project is difficult or impossible.

Keep Learning
Whether it's a two-day seminar or a two-year MBA program, never let any opportunities to enhance your skills go in vain. Check with your human resources department to see if the company will pay your tuition. If you want to be a CEO then find out what level of education the current CEO has obtained. Even if you have an advanced degree then also you can learn new things that will broaden your areas of expertise and experience. Keep yourself up-to-date and stand up against the 'new kids' in office.

If you aren't sure about where to start, you might want to talk to a career counselor. Tell him about your current profession and where do you want to see yourself 10 years down the line. Education is the way to get noticed, get skilled, and get climbing up that corporate ladder or late in life!

Accept Change
Embrace change as part of doing business. Change is part of every organization. So, if you falter then look at the issue from another perspective and tackle the issue from another angle. To bring about a positive change means innovation. Hence take the initiative to be innovative to tackle the pain points in your organization.

Apart from the Do's mentioned above there are certain Don'ts which you should avoid. These characteristics to avoid if you want to reach to the top:
  •     Rigidity
  •     Playing organizational politics
  •     Cynical/negative thinking
  •     Making false promises
  •     Entertaining hidden agendas

Don't despair if you don't find a career ladder per se in your organization, instead build one. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to build your own job. Certainly, there are other tips and strategies that you will pick up as you get along in your career, but those which I have mentioned here will surely help you to get started.

Good luck and Godspeed!
Pat J. is a contributing writer to Jobsbridge. Jobsbridge is a fast growing I.T Job & Career Portal. Thousands of jobs are posted by technology staffing companies, recruiters and direct employers on a regular basis. Employers & Jobseekers will find this site very uncluttered and has some great feature set.
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