How to climb that career ladder and achieve your greatest heights
Advancing at work can sometimes seem impossible. It can also be kind of scary. Are you ready, are you not? Well… simply being on this page, knowing you want to keep trudging forward is a major sign that you’re prepared for some career growth. And there’s no need to worry, you probably already possess the qualities needed to move up in your career.
Often commitment can be confused with killing yourself working long hours to ensure people know you’re a hard worker. Although putting in extra time when necessary and being willing to go above and beyond will show commitment, you’ll be happy to hear it isn’t the only way, and neither is it the best way! In this post, commitment is all about being open to up-skilling and personal development. There are often opportunities in the work place to learn more. Take them! And if there aren’t any, make some. Ask someone who has skills that you desire and work with them. Sometimes the skill set won’t personally benefit your move forward, but by learning it you can help take some weight off someone else’s shoulders. Sometimes, it will directly help you. Either way, learning and advancing in a range of ways will show your investment in the success of your team and the company. It won’t go unnoticed.
Passion & enthusiasm
When you have passion, asking for more responsibility comes naturally. Just like asking to learn new things, asking for more responsibility will show your commitment to your job and your team. If you want to move forward in your role, ask often what more you can do to help or what projects you can take more of a lead on. This is especially important when busy periods are on the rise. In fact, it’s easier to discuss what you need to do to support your boss and others during busy times. When people notice how keen you are to work, not only for yourself but for the team’s benefit, you will gain respect from your peers who will see what kind of leader you could be.
Bond with your boss or identify a mentor. However, don’t do this just to climb the corporate ladder. I’m telling you if you do your boss or mentor will see through you in an instant. No one warms to a suck up! Instead, from beginning to the end of your job, be sincere and understand that you can learn from others, especially those in senior positions. Be honest with your boss/mentor about your aspirations and goals. Often, your drive and motivation will be a point of commonality and your boss/mentor will be open to being part of your journey to achieving those goals. There’s no secret that some managers aren’t obvious role models. In this case, we can still be resourceful and keep in mind what not to do.
Don’t be afraid to ask. Performance reviews are a great opportunity to open conversation about career development within the company. It is here where you can openly discuss and hear what you are doing right and where you can improve. With open communication and discussion, your career path is suddenly much less scary and mysterious. It becomes something achievable because you are being guided with feedback. In some cases, growth may not be viable in that position, sometimes lateral moves can be more suitable at the time. Or if you’re after a raise rather than a promotion of position, you can talk about that here too. However, if no progress is available for you, this is where you can determine if you need to start looking elsewhere for a company that can allow you room to grow.
Even if ‘leader’ isn’t quite your next position. It’s important to possess strong leadership skills anyway. If given an opportunity to lead, you’ll want to be prepared. A good article to reference for leadership qualities would be Forbes: Top 10 Qualities that Make a Great Leader. In this article, Tanya Prive elaborates on qualities such as honesty, delegation, communication, confidence, commitment and more which are foundations for most successful and modern leaders.
The only quality spoken about by Prive to be wary of in lower positions is delegation. Sometimes, if we aren’t leading a team, delegation can seem like palming off your responsibility. You should always be accountable for tasks that are assigned to you and open to help others with their tasks if time allows. Never delegate to give yourself some free time, only if it will help in overall team productivity.