How to Move Up in a Company: A Step-by-Step Guide to Career Advancement

Born sometime between 1982 and 2000, Millennials now make up the biggest part of the workforce in the U.S., but the career advice they need differs from that of earlier generations. Millennials, in general, don’t want to work for one company for their entire career. They don’t want to be simply a cog in a wheel, or a body earning a paycheck. Millennials want to work for companies they care about, doing work that makes a difference, and working the hours they set—not the hours dictated by a manager or manual. They want to learn and grow, with mentors to guide them. And they are willing to change jobs frequently to make this happen, with people aged 25 to 34 years old changing jobs about every two and a half years.Â

Moving up in a company is an exciting milestone in anyone’s career. Getting promoted or moving into a new role with more responsibility shows that your hard work is paying off. It also opens up new opportunities for professional and financial growth.

However climbing the corporate ladder takes more than just putting in your time. You need to strategically position yourself as a top performer and emerging leader to catch the eye of decision makers. Follow these proven tips to maximize your chances of landing that next big promotion.

Continuously Improve Your Skills

The foundation of moving up in a company is becoming excellent at your current job. Seek out opportunities to learn new skills, take on additional responsibilities and become more valuable in your role.

  • Always keep learning. Attend training seminars, read industry books and publications, and stay on top of new developments in your field. The more cutting-edge your expertise, the better.

  • Ask for stretch assignments. Volunteer for projects that let you develop new competencies like leadership, team building, decision making and communication skills.

  • Cross-train in other departments. Offer to help out other teams during busy periods. It will expand your knowledge and build relationships across the organization.

  • Solve problems proactively. Don’t sit around waiting for instructions. Anticipate needs and pitch in to improve processes and increase efficiency.

  • Exceed expectations. Go above and beyond basic requirements and really wow stakeholders with the caliber of your work.

Increase Your Value in Your Current Role

Before moving into a new position, first work on providing maximum value in your current one. Managers will notice employees who consistently generate major contributions.

  • Become the team expert. Have the deepest knowledge of your niche and be the “go-to person” for help. You’ll be seen as more vital.

  • Handle the toughest assignments. Don’t shy away from challenges. Tackling the hardest projects earns you respect.

  • Volunteer for extra work. Offer to take on additional responsibilities without falling short on your existing ones. This showcases your capacity to do more.

  • Speak up with ideas. Share suggestions to improve products, services, workflows or results. Don’t keep your expertise to yourself.

  • Mentor co-workers. Invest time helping others improve their skills and performance. It establishes your leadership abilities.

Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Moving up the ladder often means taking on more duties. Be careful not to have career tunnel vision that burns you out. Protect your health and relationships outside of work too.

  • Set work hour limits. Commit to leaving at a reasonable time to recharge. Don’t fall into a pattern of chronic overtime.

  • Use vacation time. Actually take those days off to relax and reset. You’ll return refreshed and more focused.

  • Nurture personal relationships. Make time for loved ones and activities you enjoy. Don’t let work dominate your whole life.

  • Exercise regularly. Maintain an exercise routine to manage stress and boost mental stamina. This increases your career resilience.

  • Get enough rest. Make sleep a priority. Showing up tired dulls your performance and creativity over time.

Create Strategic Career Goals

Moving up isn’t just waiting for someone to notice your contributions. Have a roadmap with clear objectives to develop the right skills and experiences.

  • Identify target roles. Decide which specific promotions or lateral moves appeal to you. This gives you a precise goal to work towards.

  • Assess skill gaps. Determine what abilities you’ll need to develop to be qualified for your target role. Addressing gaps makes you a stronger candidate.

  • Map developmental milestones. Outline the projects, training and relationships that will help you gain vital experience and expertise.

  • Set SMART goals. Define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals that build your qualifications. This creates focus.

  • Track progress. Periodically review your advancement against goals. Course correct as needed to stay on the right trajectory.

Secure a Mentor for Guidance

A mentor can provide insider advice to help position you for advancement based on real organizational needs. Align with someone invested in your growth.

  • Look for leaders who support rising talent. Good mentors take interest in developing high-potential employees. You want their advocacy.

  • Ask managers you impress. A manager who sees your potential is often willing to formally mentor you. Don’t be shy requesting it.

  • Connect with senior colleagues. Seasoned professionals have invaluable organizational wisdom to share. Seek their counsel.

  • Define the relationship. Be clear about what you hope to gain from the partnership. Share your skills, interests and aspirations.

  • Meet consistently. Touch base regularly for guidance on career strategy, skill building and navigating work politics.

Demonstrate Emerging Leadership Skills

Stepping up to lead teams, projects and initiatives helps prove you’re management material. Develop and display these vital abilities:

  • Communication – Clearly convey ideas, actively listen and provide constructive feedback. Successful leaders connect well.

  • Collaboration – Build relationships, resolve conflicts and align people towards shared goals. Bring out the best in others.

  • Strategic thinking – Analyze situations from multiple angles and develop innovative solutions. Leaders consider the big picture.

  • Vision – Define aspirational yet achievable goals for the future. Leaders inspire progress and change.

  • Accountability – Hold yourself and team members responsible for outcomes. Leaders take ownership.

Promote Yourself Strategically

Make sure decision makers notice your skills, achievements and career aspirations. But avoid coming across as arrogant.

  • Speak up in meetings. Participate fully to build your visibility as an expert contributor. But don’t dominate discussions.

  • Share project wins. Let your manager and other leaders know about your successful initiatives. But avoid bragging.

  • Network internally. Introduce yourself to executives at company events and use it as a relationship building opportunity. But focus on their interests, not just promoting yourself.

  • Ask about advancement criteria. Understand exactly how promotion decisions are made and what factors are evaluated. Use that intel to strengthen your case.

  • Request career conversations. Proactively meet with your manager to discuss your aspirations and ask for their advice on positioning yourself for growth. But avoid demands or ultimatums.

Persist Despite Setbacks

Pushing your career to the next level often takes time. Setbacks and rejections are normal. Stick with it, learn and continue working to add value.

  • Ask for feedback after rejections. Understand why you weren’t selected this time and any development areas to improve future chances.

  • Bolster weak spots. Honestly assess your skills gaps and create a plan to close them through training, practice and mentoring.

  • Stay positive. Keep setbacks in perspective. Persistence and continuous growth inevitably pays off.

  • Re-evaluate goals if needed. Sometimes a target role turns out not to be the right fit after all. That’s okay. Adjust your plans.

  • Trust your capabilities. Believe in your potential, even when promotions take longer than hoped. Your time will come.

Moving up in a company requires focus, drive, skill growth and perseverance. But the investment is well worth reaching your greater career aspirations and expanding your professional impact. Use these strategies to maximize your chances of success climbing to that next level. With consistent high performance, visibility and preparation, you can earn the exciting promotions that accelerate your leadership journey.

how to move up in a company

Here’s what learners are saying regarding our programs:

  • Katrina Tanchoco

    Shell – Manila ,

    The interactive sessions make a huge difference as Im able to ask for further clarifications. The training sessions are more engaging than the self-paced modules, its easier now that i first decided to take up the online classroom training, and then followed it up with the self-paced learning (online and readings).

  • Ralph Lauren Dorado

    AECOM Philippines ,

    I find the course to be excellent in terms of content, structure the mode of presentation. The lessons are simplified in such a way that people who dont have background in project management will also be able to understand the course.

Top 7 Tips for Climbing the Career Ladder Faster

After you’ve done your goal setting, your next step is working towards those goals and climbing that career ladder. No matter your goals or career field, you can apply seven tips to help you make your way up that ladder faster. Â

If you are wondering how to climb the corporate ladder faster check out these tips.Â

how to move up in a company

As with goal setting, a plan is necessary as your roadmap to your next career goal. It can be a short-term or long-term plan, but have a plan!

The more people you know, the better for your career. Even when you have a job, you want to keep building your network, both online and in person. That way you’ll have connections to reach out to when you’re ready for a career move or you’re in need of a mentor.

Go above and beyond at work, doing more than the minimal requirements. Work harder and longer than the others on your team, but also work smarter. Volunteer for high-visibility projects. Seek to contribute more, and make yourself the go-to person. Get to work early, and leave late.

Your job description might be limited but that doesn’t limit you. Do whatever is assigned to you, then ask what else you can do, even if its in another department or on another project. Help wherever you can, whenever you can, however you can.

Be more than the person at that desk. Continuously strive to up-skill yourself and learn new skills. Take certification courses. Study and follow all the industry leaders wherever they are active, and attend conferences. The more you learn and know, the more of an asset you will be to your employer.

Do you know the advice to act “as if”? If you want to a job farther up the career ladder, act “as if” you already have that job. Think like someone higher up. Pay attention to how those above you act, manage, delegate, mentor and communicate, and emulate their behavior. What skills have they mastered? Learn those skills.

Lastly, but most importantly, be a team player. Employers are closely looking at the way employees work with the rest of the team, as well as other departments. If you are viewed as a team player, it is a huge advantage to your career.Â

With that, we have come to the conclusion of the article “ how to climb the corporate ladder“

In this article “how to climb the corporate ladder” we learned that millennials get a lot of bad press in the media as they’re labeled self-centered, entitled, and lazy. Some people view the job-hopping that’s typical of Millennials as proof of these negative labels. In reality, however, many Millennials are simply trying to forge a new kind of career path, one that focuses more on social issues than paychecks and allows for a flexibility that technology today enables through flex-time and remote work. When you as a Millennial are clear in your goal setting and you’re taking definite steps to move up the career ladder, you will dispel the myths of the Millennial and show the world that just because your priorities might differ, your ability to achieve your goals does not.Â

If you are planning to take up a course, we suggest you take up PMP certification, this will help in your career growth. Â

How to advance your career quickly to climb the corporate ladder

How to move up in a company?

When it comes to learning how to move up in a company, few skills are more important than communication. You should strive to improve your communication skills and look for ways to showcase them on a daily basis.

When is it time to move up in an organization?

Know when it’s time to move on – One of the most direct ways to move up in an organization is to leave the department you are in and go to another.

How do I become a manager if I’ve moved up?

Listed below are 10 strategies I recommend both as someone that has moved up in an organization multiple times and also from being a manager and understanding how these opportunities come about. 1. Be Dependable/Reliable – This is #1 and it is probably the most basic concept and it’s also the most important.

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