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6 Tips to Climb the Corporate Ladder


Want to be the boss someday? In addition to gaining experience and building skill sets, you’ll need to take on new responsibilities and rise to the level of your next job. While ambition is key, there is more to proving that you are ready for the next level, if you want to make it big in the corporate world.


(Photo Credit: infomastern/Flickr)

In order to establish yourself as a person able to handle higher complexity and take on greater responsibility, you need to have the right attitude, dedication, and discipline to deliver what it takes. The following tips can help you scale the corporate hierarchy.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. Don’t say no to work

Every job comes with its fair share of low-value-add tasks. If you’re in finance, you do have to shred those confidential numbers after every review; if you’re in sales, you may be required to file a sales report. Whatever the job and whatever the task, do it with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. If there are projects assigned that are mundane and nobody wants to do them, raise your hand and take them up. Your attitude towards your job will work to your benefit in the long run. Your manager and team will recognize that you do not shirk work or responsibility and are committed to its completion.

2. Ideate, Initiate, and Act

Most people are very good at finding issues with a particular process or project. They seldom come up with solutions. Be the person who not only identifies the problem but also initiates a solution and is not afraid to get her hands dirty toward the success of the idea. But make sure that when you are making smart recommendations, you do so without sounding too arrogant or belittling somebody else’s views.

3. Follow through

Whether you are doing your job and need somebody’s help or you are helping somebody else, follow through to the completion of the project. When you need help, make sure you are not hounding the person to help you, but are taking the person into confidence and telling them that you value their contribution in your project. When you are helping someone, check in with them to see how they’re doing (without stalking), and offer any help you can to move the project along.

4. Think and act like you’re already at the next level

When you get promoted, it’s because you are already operating at the next level, i.e. you are exceeding the expectations of your current role and meeting the expectations of your next job. So understand what is required at the next level and make sure you incorporate those behaviors in your day to day work. Most companies share this information with their employees. If this is not the case in your company, talk to your manager to understand expectations.

5. Know your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

Your performance discussions with your manager and the feedback that you get from your reviews are valuable information to learn about your strengths and understand how to overcome your weaknesses. If your team sees you earnestly working on their feedback, then they will acknowledge your effort and feel valued. 

6. Have a solid work ethic

That means following the company’s code of conduct, having a high level of integrity, meeting deadlines, dressing professionally, communicating correctly, not playing politics, not bad-mouthing your colleagues or manager. Be cordial and professional in your interactions, and have the willingness to learn and help your peers and subordinates learn and grow as well.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you been promoted or are awaiting a promotion? What was your strategy? Share your story on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Padmaja Ganeshan Singh
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