Have a candid conversation with several successful leaders and you will find that every career success story is unique and different.
While there isn’t a magic formula for how you advance up the corporate ladder, there are tried and true strategies that stand out, time and time again.
As you reposition yourself for executive career success, here are eight, quick tips to add to your toolbox.
1. Reassess your executive career to date
Is your career path well aligned with your priorities, interests and goal? Do you possess the experience, leadership strengths and core competencies needed to get to the next career level?
Can a lateral move be the answer for now so you can work your way up from there?
2. Define your executive career goals
If you don’t know what your destination is or exactly where it is you want to go, all your career decisions are just a guessing game. Where do you want to be in 12 months, 24 months and 36 months? What will it take to get you there?
3. Create a career management plan
Success does not just happen…it may look like it’s easy for other people, but trust me, they put the work in and had a plan to keep them on track. Determine the steps you need to take for your next promotion or career advancement.
Identify what or who you need to get you there and follow through…a plan with no action is just a distraction.
4. Share your executive career goals with mentor or coach
If you work in an organization that actively promotes employee and leadership development, communicate your goals with your management and proactively position yourself for top projects and fast-track assignments.
If you are concerned about resistance or lack of support, connect with a mentor you can trust or start working with an executive coach.
5. Volunteer to spearhead a new project
Actions are strong than words.
Saying you can do it is half the job, take initiative and speak up for internal growth opportunities and stretch project; this allows you to increase your visibility while you are building new marketable / leadership skills.
6. Stay current in your field and industry
We live in the age of information, so stay informed!
Read industry publications, new bulletins, press release and annual reports. Join industry associations, become active in forums and stay connected (or follow) industry leaders.
Staying ahead of the curve and being aware of industry trends, keep you in the know and makes you a valuable asset.
7. Up-level your leadership skills
Want to up-level your leadership skills in a “safe” position?
Then explore being a mentor to young professional or junior associate in your organization, apply for a position on a local board, or chair a committee for a nonprofit organization or affinity group.
8. Network, Network, Network.
No one ever got to the top alone.
Building bridges, connections, contacts and relationships with other professionals and leaders are vital to your success when climbing the corporate ladder.
Don’t limit yourself, expand your reach outside your organization to your local community.