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6 Top Tips to Help You Climb the Corporate Ladder
By Belware Staff
A career in big business can be highly challenging and extremely rewarding. If you’re someone who is driven to become a senior manager in your field, take a look at our 6 top tips to help you climb the corporate ladder.
1) Set yourself a goal
First and foremost, it is important that you set yourself a long-term career objective. Many people are keen to climb the corporate ladder, but without a clear view of your final destination, you’re very likely to lose direction along the way.
If you are determined to become a senior manager within your business/industry, but you haven’t yet decided on what job you’d like to eventually be doing, invest time in learning about the roles of different senior managers and pick one that interests you most.
2) Understand the requirements of your desired role
Once you’ve decided what you want to do, you need to understand what the position entails. It’s important that you research the key requirements of the role, as this will help you to fill the gaps in your CV along the way.
For example, let’s pretend you work in the Marketing division for a major online retailer and you’ve decided you want to one day become the Marketing Director for your business. You feel that you have the necessary marketing skills and qualifications in order to excel as a Director, but during your research into the role, you discover that it involves an in-depth knowledge of Finance (which you don’t have!). Because you know this, you can now allocate time to develop your Finance knowledge, in order to become better equipped for the role in future.
IMPORTANT: It is far better to know these things sooner rather than later, as some of the key requirements of your desired role may require you to have had experience working in a specific area of the business. This may require you to look for a job in a different area temporarily, as you work towards your ultimate goal.
3) Identify your weaknesses
In order for you to realise your corporate potential, you must be: a) prepared to identify your weaknesses, and: b) committed to turning those weaknesses into strengths. The most common weakness destined to destroy the career aspirations of many ambitious people is the skill of strong presentation and public speaking. Most senior managers would be expected to be able to execute a good public presentation, even if only to a small number of people. So, if this is something you find very difficult, it is imperative that you invest time in becoming better at it. Put yourself in situations where you are required to present information and aim to do so clearly and effectively – you’re likely to find that the more you are confronted with these situation, the better you will be at handling them.
4) Create a strong network of key stakeholders
‘It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know’ – well, not quite. But having a great network of key stakeholders is an excellent idea if you want to become a corporate leader. And, if you’re not overly precious about staying in the same company, your networking activity needn’t be confined to stakeholders within your own organisation.
Whilst you need to have the right skills in order to progress your career, networking can be an excellent way of potentially boosting your prospect. Not only is it a great way to learn from people that may be in similar roles to the one you are interested in, it is also a great way for you to make a good impression with people that could recommend you for jobs (or, indeed, THE job) in the future.
5) Get bosses to trust you
In order to prove that you are capable of taking up a senior position within your organisation, you will need to demonstrate that you are trustworthy and that managers can depend on you to get the job done (and done well!) It is important that you demonstrate your commitment to your job and your company – from showing up on time, to making an effort with your appearance and delivering results by agreed deadlines.
6) Get tough
This isn’t the most pleasant tip, but is one you should keep in mind as you embark on this journey. The Corporate world can be a fast-paced environment presenting an array of conflicting pressures, the stresses of which can breed poor behaviour amongst colleagues and managers alike. Whilst this is regrettable, it is important that you develop a tolerance for such conduct, in order to avoid becoming exhausted or feeling harassed.