Home Money & Career Climbing the Corporate Ladder: How to Get that Promotion

Climbing the Corporate Ladder: How to Get that Promotion

by Ola Malachi

It’s easy to become complacent and accept your lot in corporate life, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want or deserve a promotion. The dream of climbing the corporate ladder is still alive and well if you take a minute to honestly answer a question. When you first started your job did you see yourself moving up in the company? Even if you’re happy with your current position, the answer is likely yes. It’s human nature to want to work towards a goal. Here are some tips for getting that promotion you’ve always wanted:

Show Initiative
Avoid using the phrase “that’s not in my job description.” Make an effort to show that you can take initiative. This may include volunteering for overtime or staying late without being asked, helping a co-worker finish a project, or helping new hires get started. Of course, you don’t want to let your work suffer in the process. Don’t brag about the little extras you do. The powers that be are likely to pay attention to who is putting in some extra effort here and there. Showing leadership qualities is a good way to at least get noticed.

Go Back to School
A common reason for being passed up for a promotion is lack of an advanced degree required for higher-level positions. These days, there are many convenient ways to acquire some additional training or even earn an advanced degree such as an MBA. Several universities offer online MBA programs. According to a 2000 AllBusiness.com survey of accountants, those without a degree earned an average salary of $38,920, while those with an MBA earned an average salary of $104,284. The increased earnings potential makes this a realistic consideration. Even taking a few classes to brush up on your skills can help.

Offer Solutions
Be proactive and offer solutions when problems arise. If there is some minor conflict between co-workers, for example, defuse the situation and offer a solution that is agreeable to both parties. A less dramatic example might be offering suggestions or solutions to problems brought up in meetings. Even if you don’t have the magic solution, your boss is likely to appreciate you making the effort. If you deal with customers, make an extra effort to solve their problems and anticipate their needs. This shows good people skills, a highly valued quality.

Learn from Others
Most people don’t tend to appreciate someone who always has the answers to everything. Show a willingness to learn from others. If a co-worker has a better idea, acknowledge it and thank them. Seek advice from your boss and co-workers with more experience than you. The more willing you are to learn; the better. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and admit it. Making a mistake here and there won’t automatically toss you off the corporate ladder. It’s how you handle it. Admit your mistakes, sincerely apologize, learn from them and move on. A positive attitude and an ability to learn from your mistakes is a skill likely to get you noticed in a good way.

Promotions are a rare thing in some companies these days, especially as many companies choose to eliminate and consolidate positions rather than promote when something becomes available. This makes it more important than ever to go above and beyond the call of duty when possible, learn some new skills, show off your people skills, or even earn an advanced degree. In today’s competitive job market, anything that sets you apart from the competition is a plus.

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