In addition to the simple strategies for impressing higher-ups and successfully changing roles in your company, which we discussed in the previous sections, here are some important key steps you should take as you climb the career ladder:
- Foster and build strong professional relationships.
- Stay on top of new developments in your field.
- Pursue continuing education and professional development.
- Be professional in your appearance, demeanor and communication.
There are also some important examples of what not to do in your efforts to rise to the top. Under no circumstances should you:
- Spend your work hours looking for other jobs.
- Sabotage your competitors on your way to the top.
- Pressure or give ultimatums to your superiors.
- Falsely claim to have another job offer.
Not only will these actions hurt your chances for advancement, they may even get you fired. You should also make every attempt to get along with your superiors, even if you don't always agree with them. You'll garner more respect from the higher-ups and everyone else in the organization if you show you're a team player and are generally supportive of others [source: Forbes].
Another important consideration when trying to advance your career is, avoid letting a sagging economy discourage you from pursuing your goals. Even when a company is cash-strapped, executives still may recognize strong contributions from their employees. If you know that money is tight in your organization, consider asking for a promotion without a pay increase. This can be a tough choice, especially when you've been working overtime. But don't be discouraged -- when things pick up, you'll be in a good position to pursue that well-earned raise.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, be sure to ask for what you want. Too often, good employees fail to move up in an organization simply because they do not pursue advancement. Even if you're perfectly content in your current role, you can find ways to expand your responsibilities, earn more money or do both. So no matter what your professional goals, always be aware of the opportunities that exist within your organization, as well as the requirements for achieving them.
The next page has lots more information geared toward helping you advance in a company.