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. 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. 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. 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.
4. Communicate your career goals with management. If you work in an organization that promotes employee development, communicate your goals with your manager and ask for his or her support. If you are concerned about resistance, find a mentor within the organization that you can trust.
5. Volunteer to spearhead a new project. 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. Read industry publications and reports. Be aware of changing trends and position yourself accordingly.
7. Take classes or obtain a certification. 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.
8. Assume a leadership role. 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. Within your organization and within the community. Increasing your visibility and gaining contacts are vital to your success when climbing the corporate ladder. No one ever got to the top alone.
10. Excel in your current position. Exceptional performance speaks for itself. You won’t get ahead with mediocre performance, regardless of how many other steps you implement.