No jokes, many people try to ascend the career ladder, but a minute few succeed. I’ve seen a lot of employees trying to rise higher in their career, but unfortunately, the majority of them fail.
What causes people to fail? In my opinion, many of the failures are due to laying excessive emphasis on opportunities for promotion. On the other hand, some failures were due to passiveness. People who just did their jobs, while secretly hoping that they would get promoted one day. It rarely works like this.
‘After many years watching the winners and losers, it’s clear to me that putting exclusive focus on climbing up the career ladder leads to failure. When a person’s eyes are on the ultimate result only (to be at the ‘highest point’ in their career), they tend to neglect important things like: personal growth, skills development and cooperation with other people. Not only do they neglect these things, but they fail to realize that these things are actually essentials for rising high and attaining recognition’.
The Essentials for Climbing the Ladder
After several considerations and consultations, it’s my belief that you must practice the steps below in order to make it up the career ladder.
- Start with a Plan in Mind.
Do you know what your goals on that job are? If not, you must take some time to identify them. Only once you precisely know what your goals are will you be able to see what it takes to get there. Set milestones and deadlines to motivate you and if necessary, break down such goals into small bit. Such a blueprint in your mind will encourage your focus and keep you motivated.
For example, if your goal is to be a professional musician, then you should devise a plan to reach that goal. It could look something like this:
- Enrol in a full-time, professional music course.
- Learn everything you can about music and your chosen instrument.
- Spent a large part of your spare time in practicing.
- Collaborate with others to build your skills and confidence.
- Seek ways to make your performance stand out from the crowd.
- Based on Your Plan, Work Hard and Work Smart.
You’ll need to work hard to achieve your goals which doesn’t have to mean working long hours. You should endeavour to work hard, but work smart too. This means putting maximum effort, determination and focus into your work. In other words, make every hour you work count. Everything you do should help the company and yourself grow. You should also seek to contribute more, because this opens you up to additional learning opportunities – which will help you to grow.
How to work smarter? Take a look at the time most people waste going through their emails. It can be hours a day. You can work smarter in this area by utilizing folders, color-coding and auto-responses. By implementing these functions, you can cut down on the amount of emails you receive, easily prioritize your emails, and make searching for old emails much simpler. All of this saves you time to get on with your real work!
- Initiate More, Don’t Just Execute.
Do you go beyond what’s expected from your role? If not, you definitely should. For starters, make sure that you think often about what you can do to improve your work. Don’t just act according to what’s assigned to you. You should also provide feedback, opinions and ideas that will stimulate others. Don’t overestimate your own abilities, but do ensure that you go beyond your duties when you can. However, by doing this, you must be prepared to open yourself up to more possibilities for failures and mistakes. To counterbalance this, you will also have more lessons to learn from. Think of it this way, if all you do is the work given to you – then you will fail to impress your management team. For senior roles, managers will want go-getters who know how to take calculated risks and use their initiative.
- Align Your Efforts with Your Company’s Goals.
Your company’s strategies and goals may change once in a while, so it’s important that you keep up-to-date with them. Try to align your effort with these goals, or ask your company about how you can align your work with the direction in which the company is traveling. When your goals are aligned with your company’s goals-your efforts will directly contribute to the company’s direction, and the results will be stronger and more effective.
- Be an Expert at Something.
Your skills and knowledge should be valuable resources to others. To help increase this, besides job-related skills, build skills that are outside of your job. By doing this, you’ll open yourself up to more opportunities, including, mentoring possibilities and advancement. For instance, imagine that you work as an office administrator. The job mostly involves paperwork such as spreadsheets and letter writing. As you are determined to climb the career ladder, you choose to enroll in your own time in a course in office management. Here you learn vital skills such as health and safety rules, supplier coordination and people management. With the extra skills, you find yourself ideally-placed to snap up any office management vacancies that come your way-either within your company, or within a different company.