If you want to move up the corporate ladder you need a career plan. You need to build one instead of simply landing jobs one after another. A career is the sum of all the knowledge, skills, and network you’ve gained from your education, training, previous jobs or positions. Are you building up these layers or have you stopped? We’ll give you five tips on how to build a career, whatever stage you are on now.
In general, people work their way up the corporate structure in three ways.
They follow a steady course. They apply for an entry-level job, get additional training and education, and gradually work their way up.
They know the right contacts. They are head-hunted middle of their career for a higher position.
They jump ship midway of their career. They take the risk of leaving a job they’ve been stuck since around their late twenties and apply for a higher position elsewhere.
Wherever your career is now, it’s never too late to build it with these useful tips:
We all have inherent strengths that we can use to create positive relationships in the workplace.
Are you good at people’s skill? Show it by acting as a cheerleader for the team or taking the lead when everything seems to stall. Are you good at problem-solving? Offer ideas for solutions. If you have a natural knack for writing or design, help a colleague or your boss to come up with a better report.
The educational system prepared you intellectually for the job, but it hardly readied your emotions. In the harsh environment of the workplace, you need to harness your emotional intelligence to see you through tough times, such as, dirty corporate politics, looming deadlines, and demanding clients.
Don’t eschew big projects. They can help you build your portfolio for future promotions. If you must volunteer, select the projects that can best illustrate your skill.
It’s easy to become complacent with a nice-paying job. But does it advance your skills and allow you to showcase leadership and decision-making skills? Make sure you’re not stuck in a tropical island beach if you don’t want to live there forever.
Reach out to people who you think can help your career down the road. These include colleagues working in other companies, trade society officers and members, competitors, and anyone you come across while attending a convention or lecture or signing up for membership.