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How To Climb Up Your Career Ladder Faster Than Others In A Big Corporate.

How To Climb Up Your Career Ladder Faster Than Others In A Big Corporate.

When you are working for a large company, it’s easy to feel like a little fish in a big pond. Perhaps despite your best efforts, you aren’t advancing along your career path as quickly as you would like. There are so many people vying for top positions that showcasing your talents can be a struggle. It might seem like an uphill battle, but you’ll never get a promotion if you don’t try.

Being successful in your career path takes time and grit.

It can be a long journey to the top of the corporate ladder. Maintaining drive and creativity when your superiors dictate a project’s direction can be challenging. After you’ve successfully completed a task, you may be pigeonholed into doing to same type of work over and over. Proving your worth is tough when you are not allowed to demonstrate your capacity to take on challenges.

Many people are competing for the same things that you want, and when they get those coveted positions, they do not give them up easily. Even when you do get a chance to shine, it is a constant battle to stay ahead of all the other workers who also want to be plucked from anonymity.

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When you couple these concerns with self-doubt, the picture looks even more grim. About 32% of workers feel that they don’t have the skills that they need to earn a promotion.[1] If you don’t believe that you are a good candidate for advancement, how can you expect that your boss will see your potential?

It’s time to get out of your own head and try these 7 strategies to snag that promotion.

All these frustrations about competitiveness and lack of control are valid, but if you want to get ahead, you’ll need to devote your energy to things that are within your control. Advancing on your chosen career path requires you to take your fate in your own hands and trust that you have what it takes.

Getting ahead at work involves going above and beyond what is expected from you. Work output algorithms,technological advancements, and high expectations can make the prospect of taking on additional responsibility daunting. If you want to be a cut above the rest, you will have to demonstrate your ambition.

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  • Put yourself out there. If your boss doesn’t know that you exist, they aren’t going to be able to go to bat for you. This also means that you should make an effort to develop a good working relationship with your manager.
  • Ask to take on jobs that will challenge you. You won’t grow if you are standing still. Stay on your manager’s radar by demonstrating your eagerness to grow and doing high-quality work.
  • Keep track of what you do. If you save the company money or spearhead an initiative, document it. When you have to make a case for why you would be a good fit for a promotion, you’ll have numbers to show your supervisors.[2]
  • Spend time with colleagues in casual settings. Having an excellent rapport with your coworkers will not only make work a lot more fun, but it will also help you build collaborative relationships. Upper level management like to see team players. Of course you want to stand out, but you don’t have to be cutthroat to show your mettle.[3]
  • Value your time. When employees value their time, they are also showing the boss that they value the company’s time. Stay organized and develop a workflow for your day. Managers are more likely to give you more opportunities if they see that you are efficient.[4] Asking a manager what steps you can take to make a project run more smoothly shows that you are open to mentoring and care to maximize your time.
  • Think about the big picture. Find out what problem you can help your boss solve. When your manager knows you are willing to take the initiative to troubleshoot an issue, you show that your vision goes beyond the stack of papers sitting on your desk.
  • Always keep it professional. You may have heard that you dress for the job you want, not the one that you have. Avoid gossip, sloppiness, and negativity at all costs. If you look and act like a leader, you’re more likely to be treated like one.

Your managers want you to succeed.

Approximately 22% of workers who do not receive promotions look for work at other companies so that they can continue to move forward on their career path.[5] When a company loses a good worker, they must work to fill the gap, and they lose the time and money they invested in you. Managers know that promotions are an important part of employee retention.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more mentoring and training. Undertaking development opportunities makes you more valuable to the company. They are making an investment in you so that you can provide a return on that investment with improved skills.

Leadership want to have a mutually beneficial relationships with their employees. When you excel in your career path, it makes them look better, increases their profit, and makes their work easier. Promotion for you means more recognition, a higher salary, and more opportunities to continue on your chosen career path. In an ideal scenario, everyone wins.

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Speak Up and Go for it!

Letting your manager know that you are willing to take on new responsibilities is the first step in developing a dialogue around career advancement. Seek opportunities that showcase what you do well. You and your boss may be able to work together to find assignments that will help you build skills in your specialty. Projects that align with your career path will be more meaningful and serve your development better.

If you ask for additional responsibilities and fail to deliver, it sends the wrong message. You want them to know that you take this work seriously. Finding responsibilities that make use of the many skills that you already possess can keep added work from becoming overwhelming.

No matter how long and treacherous the path to advancement can seem, don’t let the challenge defeat you. Embrace the struggle, stay positive, and stand firm in your desire to move forward on your career path.

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Your playing small does not serve the world. -Marianne Williamson

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Angelina Phebus

Writer, Yoga Instructor (RYT 200)

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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