What Does It Take to Move Up the Career Ladder?
It can be difficult to know what the right career path is for you, and it might take you some time to find a role that you thrive in and feel passionate about. When you do find that ideal job, it can be incredibly rewarding and make you feel happy to go to work each day. You might even see opportunities to move up this career ladder and aim to transition into a role with more responsibility and better challenges for you. However, getting noticed for these promotions isn’t always straightforward, especially if there are a lot of other candidates applying, increasing the competition. If you are ready to take the next step in your career but aren’t sure how you can give yourself the best chance of being chosen for this role, here are some tips that you might find useful.
The driving force to push yourself to get these better career opportunities will be your ambition and if you don’t have this, you’re likely to stay in the same role for the foreseeable future. The reason you might be lacking in this drive is that the job that you’re currently in doesn’t inspire you, but if you do dream of something more, it might be the right time to start thinking about what kind of career could make you happy. You could even make an appointment with a career advisor to explore the different options that match your interests and skills, as this might help you get on the right path.
If you are in a job that you love and you want to move into a more senior position, another great way to get yourself noticed is how well you work with the rest of your team. Leadership roles require reliable candidates who can go the extra mile to get the job done, and who can also keep morale high. While it’s important to make sure you’re not doing other people’s work, helping out your colleagues when they are struggling or volunteering to do extra hours in the office one evening or at weekends to make sure tasks are completed by the deadline will make a positive impression on your management team. It’ll also make your colleagues feel happy about you taking the lead, as they will respect you and want to work harder for you because they know that you have their backs, too.
Another way to help put yourself in a better position for a boost up the career ladder is through self-reflection. You can even ask your manager for feedback on your performance if this helps, as these points will help you to identify the areas where you need to improve. It could be something as simple as making sure you’re being more punctual at work or speaking up more in meetings. You might even find it useful to take additional training for your role or consider enrolling in an educational course. A lot of jobs require candidates to hold a relevant degree, but if you already have one of these, think about how a master’s degree or even a doctorate or Ph.D. could make you stand out for more senior positions. If you’re worried about studying and working at the same time, you can always gain your qualification via an online program, such as this one for MSc management which could give you the knowledge and skill to thrive in the world of business. These online degree programs can make it much easier for you to learn while not disrupting your work schedule.
While having a degree or the relevant qualifications will put you in a good position, remember that having experience under your belt for the role you’re applying for is just as important. How can you get experience for a job that you haven’t done before, though? This is a question that a lot of graduates or others who apply for entry-level roles get frustrated with, especially as not everyone is in a position to volunteer their time or take unpaid internships. While these two things will help you get experience, other ways you can get some experience is by asking a manager if you can shadow them in their role for a while or if they are willing to act as your mentor. It’s a good way to get an insight into what to expect from these more senior roles without having to sacrifice your income and will show how serious you are about moving up the ladder.
It might feel like you’ve been trying for months, maybe even years, to get noticed by your management team and offered a promotion. However, even if you are working hard, that doesn’t automatically mean an offer will land in your lap. Sometimes the vacancies simply aren’t available or there was someone else more qualified who got the job instead. This can be very disheartening and make you want to give up, but if you do want to move up the career ladder, perseverance is key. Also recognizing when it might be time to move on if your current place of work can’t offer what you want you to need is important, so don’t be scared to look elsewhere if there is no room for you to grow at your current company.
It should always be about what you know, not who you know, but the reality is that having connections will boost your chances of moving up the career ladder. This doesn’t mean that you can avoid learning new skills and working on your personal development but getting to know people on a more personal level will help them get a better idea of what you’re capable of and how well you can work with them. Use networking opportunities so people can put a face to your name and find out more information about possible job vacancies or chances to collaborate on a project together.
If you want to move up the career ladder, consider the points above and see where you can make improvements. Whether it’s studying for a specific qualification, putting yourself out there more, or even considering a change of career altogether, these things can all help you move towards your career goals.