Becoming a business leader is a dream for many people, especially those who are currently junior and have a lot of ambition. But while the American Dream might say that you can get to wherever you want to be, it’s not necessarily that easy. There are some serious hurdles to overcome first, including the need to acquire additional qualifications in some industries as well as the day in, day out grind of proving your worth and ensuring that your colleagues – and senior decision-makers around you – know about it. But by following the tips below, you’ll be able to ensure that you get as far as you can in the business world.
Make yourself indispensable
When it comes to rising through the ranks, one of the main ways to achieve this is to work hard in the early days of your role. That way, your superiors will quickly be able to identify you as someone who will help to deliver for the organization during times of difficulty. By turning up early, for example, you’ll develop a reputation as somebody who can be depended on rather than as someone who may not always deliver – and that, in turn, will mean that you get the credit and the additional responsibilities.
Get the qualifications
Ensuring that you’re fully qualified for the more senior roles in your organization’s hierarchy, meanwhile, is a smart move – especially if you’re in an industry where this kind of thing matters. Finding out what training opportunities there are to rise up the ranks is important, and sometimes this may be offered by your employer. Those who work in the legal field, for example, often find themselves sponsored by their employer, so it’s worth asking.
If not, you may have to self-fund in order to get the qualifications you need to progress to the next point in your career. Self-funding is hard, especially if the certificate you need to get is an expensive one. However, it’s worth looking at it as an investment in your career – and depending on the sector and the qualification, it’s possible that you will make all of the money spent back and more in the form of higher salaries quite quickly.
Be friendly and approachable
In an office environment, it’s important to ensure that you’re someone who the rest of the team want to be around. This does not, of course, require a wholehearted move towards over-friendliness or being annoying, but it does mean that there are rewards to be reaped if you keep a smile on your face during difficult moments, or if you develop a reputation as someone who can be a sympathetic and listening ear.
Work hard – and smart
It’s important not to lose sight of the small stuff though. Your day-to-day work is just as important as your over-arching strategic goals, and it’s important to always remember that. Working as hard as you can to get your work done in a timely and quality fashion will stand you in good stead. It’s important to be smart about hard work though: consider finding subtle ways to ensure that your immediate superiors know that you’ve done good work, such as CC’ing them into email threads containing praise from clients.
Look for role models
If you’re in a position where you’re hoping to become more senior, you’re not the first – and you certainly won’t be the last either. The internet is full of stories about people who have managed to climb the ranks in their chosen sectors, even if it’s against the odds. Lady Barbara Judge is one such person, and she has gone from a junior position to a well-known business executive. There are plenty more, perhaps even in your own community: finding out about those people is a good way to get the perspective you need on your own career, and to borrow ideas for climbing the ladder.
Climbing the career ladder can sometimes seem like a hard task to achieve, especially if you’re currently at the bottom of the career ladder and are looking to rise up through the ranks. However, it’s not an impossible dream: there are ways and means of ascending career hierarchies and becoming more senior, especially if you’re clever about how you do it. From ensuring that you work hard and become indispensable to keeping yourself looking friendly and helpful, you’ll always have a shot at the top jobs.