Millennials have been shaking up the business world by changing jobs much more frequently than the last large population of workers, the Baby Boomers. Whereas it was once commonplace to settle down for decades of hard work at a good company, the working generation today is more intent on seeking out job flexibility and fulfillment, and they aren’t afraid to try out different jobs in order to find it.
Seeking job satisfaction, growth, and promotion in one’s career is a normal and healthy desire. No matter what generation you were born into, you can learn how to move up the corporate ladder. Even better, it’s not complicated and it doesn’t involve office politics.
Many of traditional tenets of career advancement still hold true today. That’s because they work! Here are 5 leadership tips that will help you progress through the ranks faster than your peers:
- Know where you’re going and how to get there
- Be the resident expert
- Work hard
- Be a team player
1. Know Where You’re Going and How to Get There
but now I realize I should have been more specific.”
– Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin’s quote speaks to the importance of being very specific about setting goals. But it’s not just about defining where you want to be at the highest point in your career. You also need to lay out the steps needed to get there by setting short-term and long-term goals.
Doing this provides a framework for your career, ensuring that you won’t be twisting in the wind, pushed one way or another by random chance – or worse, by others’ goals.
While some may resist setting long-term goals (perhaps because it feels constricting), remember that you can always adjust these goals as you move up the corporate ladder.
Something that can help move you forward in your career is to look to those who have accomplished something similar to what you have in mind. This is beneficial because these people:
- Serve as an inspiration
- Are a model to help sketch out a career blueprint or roadmap of your own
- Have the potential to become your mentor
The most natural way to find and meet those successful in their careers is to network with others in your company and industry. This doesn’t necessarily have to be at formal networking events. Remaining open-minded and curious about people you meet on a daily basis can open up many new connections.
3. Be the Resident Expert
It’s natural to rest on your laurels and enjoy where you’re at in your career. However, one of the most important actions you can take if you want to move up the corporate ladder is to constantly educate yourself.
First, complete the basic education required in your career. After that, you should continue to learn by seeking out more training and certifications as well as attending conferences related to your field.
Make it a point to learn not just about the tools and best practices of your job position, but about the state of your company and the overall industry. If you can communicate your knowledge in a helpful way to your co-workers and management, then you’ll soon be sought out as the resident expert.
4. Work Hard
willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone.”
– Mark Cuban
Hard work is a phrase that you have probably heard often throughout your life. Have you ever thought about what it means in terms of the business world?
Here are several ways to demonstrate hard work:
- Be early to work.
- When you say you will get something done, follow through until it’s done.
- Work on every task as if it is high urgency.
- Volunteer for the tasks that no one wants, then do them well.
- Suggest ideas for new tasks that can benefit your team, your department, or your company.
5. Be a Team Player
Being a team player is another phrase you’ve heard all your life. The methods listed below might come a bit more naturally to those who have played team sports. But even if you’ve never set foot on a playing field, you can apply any of them to your work life:
- Thank others who have helped you with their guidance or with opportunities.
- If others’ work depends on your output, then keep them updated on the status. This also applies to your boss.
- Be accountable for your mistakes by admitting them and helping to resolve them.
- Share credit for a job well done.
- Observe others’ efforts and support them with positive remarks and offers of help.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any leadership tips that have helped you move up the corporate ladder? We’d love to hear about them in the Comments section below!
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