Today's employees face many more challenges than previous generations when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder. Once, company loyalty and the ability to take on increasing job responsibilities usually assured advancement within an organization. The reasons for wanting to advance, such as the desire for a better-paying position, for more prestige, and for job satisfaction, haven't changed. But in today's business environment, rather than just relying on being recognized as loyal and competent by one's supervisors in order to move up, a person has to know how to package and market his or her abilities to those in authority.
Build Your Own Ladder
1. Constantly improve your skills by taking advantage of everything you can learn on the job, by enrolling in continuing education classes, and by staying informed of technology changes in the workplace. Many skills are transferrable from one career field to another.
2. Familiarize yourself fully with the organization that employs you. Get to know as many people as you can. These relationships may provide information about new job opportunities within the firm.
3. Keep a list of all your business and personal accomplishments and achievements. Set goals for self-improvement and review them periodically. This exercise reinforces your self-confidence.
4. Widen your circle of professional and personal acquaintances. Show interest in everyone you meet by asking questions, opening up opportunities to learn of changes in the business climate and allowing other people to know you and your opinions.
5. Compile a portfolio of reference letters from customers and clients with whom you have developed working relationships. Add anything you receive in the way of praise and commendation from your current boss or other managers.
6. Recognize when it is time to move on. A company that hires from the outside with no promotions from within, an employer who takes you for granted, and your gradual dissatisfaction with your job are typical early warning signs.
Quietly look for every opportunity to advance yourself; regard everyone you come in contact with as a member of your network base. Volunteer for community projects, join a local political organization, and interact with people from varying business fields. Do not hesitate to ask for business cards from everyone you meet. The people you meet and help along the way can become resources to draw on to open doors throughout the stages of your career.