As a mentor for professionals I commonly hear the same message from people starting their careers: They want to move up the corporate ladder and they want to do this quickly. Here are my thoughts on why this should happen over time and not overnight.
- You should have a clear understanding of the company’s visions and values. You must practice those visions and values daily.
- It is important to do the job before accepting the title.
- You need to make time to prepare your successor and prepare your exit.
- There must be an understanding of how your role, department and/or unit fits into the company’s "BIG" picture.
- Understanding the strategic goals of the organization you are a part of is essential.
- There may be times you are given the opportunity to learn a new process or function in your current role. Make lateral moves several times before you move up. This will help increase your understanding of what the company is about.
- It is advantageous that you show your manager that you support them by being a problem solver. Don't come with problems. Come with the solution to the problem.
Applying the points listed above takes time to plan and execute. Keep in mind you are in control of your career. However being realistic about your career path timeline is important. This will help you avoid unrealistic expectations. The best part of your career is not the end result, it’s the journey you take that will make you a solid, hard-working, growing professional.