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What Is It and Why Should You Climb It?

Taking it back to basics, we wondered, what exactly does it mean to climb the career or corporate ladder. We often talk and discuss on this blog various topics concerning working in corporate, the corporate structure, how to get promoted quickly, and what makes an excellent resume. 

Most people have a general understanding of climbing the career or corporate ladder.  Climbing the career or corporate ladder is generally a sequential rise from an entry level role to one with more and additional responsibilities and authority. 

In essence, climbing the ladder is going from an entry level role, to an associate role, then to a senior role, then onto a managerial role, and continuing forward through a director, senior director, VP, SVP, and executive role. However, this sequential rise is ever-changing and wholly dependent on industry and profession. 

Where one industry may be more inflexible, with rigid hierarchy and structure and promotions only being achieved through levels of seniority, other industries provide a more meteoric rise, allowing for rising talent to move up the chain more quickly. Climbing the corporate ladder is by no means a guarantee nor can it be accomplished through a set of rules.  

There are helpful items which you can stick to, to better your chances, but it will always be dependent on the factors occurring within the company you are employed. For example, you may be a rock star employee, meeting and exceeding quota, coming in early, leaving late, and volunteering for additional shifts and responsibilities. 

However, if the company you are working for is hemorrhaging cash quarter-over-quarter and the horizon looks bleak, then it’s probably a good assumption that you will need to dust off that resume. Alternatively, if you are a hard worker, accomplishing your roles and responsibilities, provide a reasonable level of expectation to your employer, and generally have a can-do attitude, then there is a good chance that a promotion is in your cards.

Though by no means a guarantee, you should approach climbing the career ladder with the same level of focus and ambition that you put forth at work on a daily basis. Providing meaningful, complete, and presentable work, maintaining deadlines and promises, and fully following through on your responsibilities will have you standing out from your peers and colleagues.

There is no silver bullet on how to climb the career ladder, but I do write on it a bit more here.  Would love to hear your thoughts regarding your experience with climbing the career ladder and what steps you took to achieve those promotions.

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