When you think about climbing the career ladder, what do you focus on? The top probably. It’s good to keep your eye on the prize, but look back down and make sure the rungs of the ladder are strong enough to carry you there; rungs such as the following;
Rung of responsibility: You must work towards a consistently higher level of responsibility over time or you’ll be stuck on the lower rungs. Channel your passions productively. Offer yourself up for strategic assignments and do them well. Broaden your range of experience and be able to handle more difficult or complex tasks. If you’re looking to advance, you have to find a way to get your name in the hat. Don’t wait for someone to come find you.
Rung of support system: You can’t climb the ladder all on your own because your journey won’t be without obstacles especially if your goals are bold. Identify people who can support you; whom you can make commitments to and hold you accountable. Engage with people who can give you insights and help you get ready for where you want to get to and take time to learn from them.
Rung of understanding the big picture: You cannot get far if all you know is the work you do and what happens in your immediate environment. Take interest in the bigger picture of your organisation and industry. For example, be aware of what your organisation is trying to achieve and how you can support that.
Rung of personal value enhancement: The value you bring must increase consistently. Value can come in the form of your skills, strategic sense, networks and ability to cross-work.
Rung of consistent achievement: Long service is never really the marker for going up. It obviously takes time to do all the above and chalk some notable achievements.
Now take action: Which rung on the ladder you are climbing do you need to strengthen? n