Corporate Ladder

The hierarchical set-up in companies

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What is the Corporate Ladder?

The corporate ladder refers to the hierarchical set-up of most businesses. An individual can climb this metaphorical ladder and further their career. When you work at a company for an extended period of time, you want to move up in your career path as you take on additional responsibilities and get promoted.

Corporate Ladder - Image of a man in front of a hand-drawn ladder

Being in charge is rewarding because not only do you make a lot of money but you also get more satisfaction from your work. However, the journey to the top is never easy and you need to work toward your goal diligently from the very first day.

You can take a number of steps to advance in your career – either at your current place of employment or to open up new opportunities. Working toward advancing in your career is often referred to as climbing up the corporate ladder.

How to Rise Up the Corporate Ladder

Here are a few ways you can work your way up the corporate ladder:

1. Always be willing to learn new things

Knowledge is power and people who wish to advance in their career are always open to learning new things. Learning new skills makes you more versatile and is where the real growth happens. You can gain knowledge in many different ways. For example, you can read books and journals on the industry you currently work in.

Like technology, there are always new developments in every field, and reading books can help you stay up to date. Alternatively, you should never limit yourself to your job title. Be willing and eager to take on responsibility even when it is not a part of your job description. Your skills and knowledge can help you make a greater impact on the company, enabling you to move up the corporate ladder.

2. Get noticed

Professional recognition is one of the best ways to climb up the corporate ladder. While your skills and hard work should speak for themselves, they can often be overlooked. This is especially true when there are a large number of individuals in the organization. Therefore, you need to make the extra effort to stand out in a crowd and get noticed by your employer. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Ask for regular feedback – You should make it a point to constantly seek feedback from your supervisor, especially after completing a major project. Not only will the feedback give you useful information about your current skill set and what can be improved on, but it also lets your employer know that you really value your job and are looking to improve and advance in your career.
  • Participate/volunteer in company activities – If your company is hosting any social or volunteer events, always make it a point to participate in such activities. It is not only a great opportunity to network and meet other people in the organization, but it can also open up new windows of opportunity and help you climb up the corporate ladder.

3. Develop the right skills

While it is important to develop new skills to advance your career, you also need to develop the right skills. Many skills are universal to any job and can be used to increase your influence in the organization or get noticed by the employer.

The first and most important skill is communication. You need to be able to communicate well with your supervisor, your team, and your co-workers. Saying what you really mean and making your stance clear will be beneficial for everyone and can set the organization up for success.

Other important skills are critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The ability to look at a problem from various angles and identify its root cause is a skill that is valued at many organizations. Learning and developing this skill can increase your value as an employee.

4. Challenge the norm

It is often the people on the outside that are able to break through barriers and identify new ways of doing things. For any task in an organization, there is always more than one way to do it. Challenge yourself to think outside the box and find the most efficient way to complete the job. Not only does finding a new way to complete a task to make your job more fun and interesting, but it also helps you gain new skills to climb up the corporate ladder.

5. Be patient

Getting that promotion is great, but it takes time and requires patience. You may often feel that you are not rewarded adequately for the work you put in. However, promotions take time, especially in large companies with a lot of bureaucracy.

Related Readings

Thank you for reading CFI’s explanation of the corporate ladder. CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:

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