You have to start somewhere. That's true for everyone who works in the corporate world, whether you're a teenager just starting at a fast-food restaurant or a high-powered CEO running a Fortune 500 company. Discover these 10 tips for climbing the corporate ladder, no matter where you are in your professional journey.
1. Take Responsibility
Everyone makes mistakes. If you make one, admit it. Supervisors and managers respect honesty and integrity. Start your journey up the corporate ladder with good habits.
2. Dress for Success
Consider dressing slightly above the dress code at work. Your corporate culture might include polo shirts and khaki pants, but dress up a bit to show you mean business. Most certainly wear business formal attire at your interview. Customers, clients and other businesses may take you more seriously when you dress more formally.
3. Go Above and Beyond
Hard work and ambition are two hallmarks of someone who ascends the corporate ladder more quickly. An average employee fails to go the extra mile for coworkers, customers and team members. Volunteer to do additional work when your supervisor asks for more help. Attend leadership training, collaborate well with other team members, and expand your horizons before seeking a promotion.
4. Stay Friendly but Work Hard
It's OK to be friendly at work, but that doesn't mean spending time hanging out with your office buddies while on the clock without getting work done. You can still be friendly while managing your time and energy wisely. Catch up on chit-chat after you clock out for the evening.
5. Manage Your Time Wisely
There are only so many hours in a day. Budget your time wisely, even when you pick up extra work and help out other employees. You might impress your boss by agreeing to take on more work, but that good feeling disappears when you can't keep promises or finish projects on time.
Perception means a lot as you climb the corporate ladder. Avoid so-called "locker room talk," and maintain a professional demeanor around your coworkers — whether you're on or off the clock.
7. Support Your Teammates
Learn the difference between complimenting your teammates, including your boss, and brown-nosing. Keep your compliments succinct, relevant and centered upon a work environment. Praise someone's completion of a task rather than someone's physical appearance.
8. Don't Be a Show-Off
Try not to come across as someone who thinks he knows better than his superiors. It's great if you have several ideas that might improve your company, but share your ideas at appropriate times.
9. Observe Everyone
Observe everyone around you, from the people who catch all the breaks to the workers constantly on thin ice. The people who earn the best promotions up the corporate ladder pay attention, listen and think before speaking or acting.
10. Ask Questions
Ask questions so you get the right answers. Ask questions about how to do your job correctly, how to improve your work ethic and when you should take on extra work.
You can't climb the corporate ladder overnight. These 10 tips include lessons that are applicable in many situations and at every level of employment. Be patient, keep your integrity, and take it one rung at a time.
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