Climbing the Corporate Ladder with Dignity

July 24, 2013 | Career Advice

Climbing the corporate ladder is risky business. Sometimes, when you take a look a little too high up the ladder, you can get a bit shaky. While it’s a good idea to look up to see just how high it goes, you really ought to look to simply the next step. As you work your way up the professional ladder, these points will help you maintain your professionalism as you work towards the next goal.

It’s Not “Just a Job”

Your role in your company is an important part of your career building process. If you view it as “just a job,” you won’t put your all into it. If this is the case, then there will be many other people that can do the job just as well as you can, and thus you will be replaceable. However, if you determine that your position has value, and strive every day to provide that value, you’ll prove yourself to be an important part of your company, and this will help you grow your career.

Know Your Employer

Know what your company is doing, who it is serving and who its main competitors are. Find out how your role fits into this picture. Even if you are not working directly with clients, your job does impact the client experience, and you need to do what you can to ensure that you are not the hiccup any client experiences. Knowing your company’s goals, and striving to help reach them, will ensure that you are fulfilling customer’s desires as well.

Embrace and Respect Your Seniors

It’s easy to get intimidated by those above you in the company, but this intimidation can keep you from striving for your career goals. It may help to remember that everyone, even your superiors, had to start somewhere, probably close to where you are. Remember this, and remember that those above you have earned their position and deserve your respect. Give that respect, and you just might rise above them some day.

Learn from Your Role

No matter what role you are playing, make a commitment that you will learn from it. Perhaps you are typing a letter for your supervisor. Read it as you type, and understand what it says. Be alert to what is happening at any meetings you attend, and offer your opinion if it is asked for. You can have an opinion, even if you are lower on the ladder, just make sure you offer it appropriately.

Learn from Your Mistakes

As a junior in your company, mistakes will happen. This is how all juniors learn. Don’t run from your mistakes. Embrace them as teachers, and you’ll find greater success.

Always Follow Directions

Listen carefully when you are given instructions, and follow through. Following instructions carefully and with enthusiasm will help you catch the eye of your superior. It also helps you to learn to do all tasks well, even those you don’t like, which you will continue to have to do as you progress through the company.

Work Like a Mirror

Mirror your boss whenever you have the chance to work directly with your supervisor. The more like your boss you can be, the more likely it will be that others will turn to you when leadership is not available. If there is ever a time when you don’t agree, share your opinion, but only in a private conversation with your boss. When you are speaking for your superior, do not deliver your own opinion, but rather the opinion of your superior, and do so convincingly.

Take Good Messages

Taking a message seems like a simple action, but it can have long-standing effects if you do it well, especially if taking a message for someone much higher than you on the ladder. Taking a good message shows respect and also that you have an attention to detail. It can get you noticed, and it will make your company run more smoothly.

Don’t Get Discouraged

It’s easy to feel under appreciated when you are at the bottom of the ladder, but you must remember that your dues won’t happen quickly. The reward is there, but only if you are wiling to keep working towards it. Don’t let yourself get discouraged, but rather learn to embrace your position and handle it with a respectful, positive attitude. Soon you will be moving up, and the skills you learned while at the bottom will serve you well throughout your career.