How To Climb the Corporate Ladder to Get the Credit and Money You Deserve

Dawn Bevier

The power is in your hands; you just have to do the work

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I currently attend classes in Teaching English as a Second Language. The goal is to get a work certification that can open up my job options as a teacher and provide me more money and more success in the classroom. The whole class is a “crash course” of four three-hour meetings over one month in the summer. At the end of this period, teachers have two weeks before they must take the three-hour test that will determine if they get their certification. Due to the extremely short time frame, there is, of course, the expectation that class members will supplement classes with at-home study, for the test involves many complex linguistic and psychological models of development to study.

The inspiration for this article comes from these classes.

At each class, the teachers try their best to unravel these complex ideas which we will be expected to know. The result is complete silence through most of the lecture. Except me, of course. Usually, every new section brings a plethora of questions from me for my teacher to answer. For the first couple of meetings, I must admit I felt someone between the village idiot and bleached-blonde ditz. Does everyone “get” this stuff right away except for me? Doesn’t anyone find this part confusing, or this term difficult, or this theory way over their head?

I finally came to the conclusion that I should have reached much earlier due to my career as a teacher. After all, if most of my class is silent during a class discussion of complex material, one of a few things are true: they are uninterested in the subject, unmotivated to succeed in the class in general, or are have not done their assigned reading and are too “lost” to even ask questions.

Suddenly being the lone voice in these meetings made me proud. After all, I had bought the optional book and read the chapter being explained the night before. No one else did. I did this because I knew it would give me a base for understanding and help me make important connections when I heard the material the second time around. I was being a go-getter, doing all I could to increase my chances of success.

This, I reasoned on my drive home, is the key to success in all endeavors of life.

In our workplace, in our personal lives, in almost every aspect of human existence that matters to us, there are certain principles that we must have to succeed or rise above others. If one can harness these traits, I promise [and I don’t make promises easily] that one will increase their career standing, finances, and sense of happiness and fulfillment in life.

Tip Number One: Do the Research.

Let's take a business start-up. Those involved may be experts in whatever skill or service they are going to offer, but that alone is not enough for success. Perhaps they need to know the demographics of the area to determine if their product is in great demand. Perhaps they need to know how many other businesses similar to them are also in proximity. Of these competitors, which of these businesses are successful? Why? Where is the best location to attract customers for this business?

All of these questions require exploration and investigation. If you don’t do the research, you decrease your chances of success. Just like a well-written novel or essay often needs an outline, so does a person tackling a new goal. Planning and brainstorming possible pitfalls before they happen prevents unseen snags or problems that can occur later on and impede success.

Tip Two: Ask Questions of People in the Know

here is perhaps no greater resource than the experts in a given area. We, of course, can read these published experts, but what about using our immediate and most valuable resource: the experts whom we come across in our daily lives. Want to be a top seller in your company? Talk to the person who currently fills those shoes. Find out their habits, techniques, and tips. Want to be promoted in your job? Talk to those at the “top.” What skills does upward movement in a company require? Are there certifications needed in a certain area, technological aspects or computer programs with which you need to be familiar? Then, make a plan. Do the work based on the answers you receive.

There is another reason asking questions will help you gain success. Not only do you gain crucial information that will help you succeed, but you also let those “experts” or “higher-ups” know you are motivated, a “go-getter” with a desire to excel and the personal determination to do the work it takes to reach the top. This has its own set of rewards. People respect those who show the qualities of curiosity, drive, and ambition, and the efforts you make may help them remember you the next time an opportunity for growth or leadership is presented.

Tip Three: Clarify Expectations and Areas of Confusion As They Arise

As we attempt to reach higher levels on the corporate food chain, one set of questions or instruction given may not be enough. For example, you do the work and acquire the competencies needed to move into a new, better-paying position. Inevitably, there will be new tasks given that may need more clarification to be successful. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions. The more informed you are on the requirements and expectations concerning a work project or assignment, the more successful you will undoubtedly be.

To ask for clarification on the intricacies and specifics needed to fulfill a certain job shows a desire to excel; it lets those involved know that you want to do the best possible work for them and rise to meet their expectations. When people show this amount of care, superiors notice. Your efforts help those in charge become more confident in your abilities and show them you have the courage to step up and solve problems as they arise. This increases your persona as a hard-working problem-solver, and this type of person rarely remains low on the corporate ladder.

Tip Four: Show Interest

No one rises to the top and stays there with one good project or one well-done task. A continued amount of interest in the prosperity of the company as a whole is needed for long-term success.

Find out what important goings-on are in motion. Be interested in these events, even if you are not necessarily involved. If you have a suggestion, don’t be afraid to give it. If someone in charge completed a big project, ask how it went. The more you express interest in the business and its people as a whole, the more notice employers take. Real leaders want more than a paycheck; if you show them your desire for the whole company to succeed, you again gain their respect and attention.

The corporate world is fraught with daily obstacles and challenges. In a sea of workers or employees and an ocean of endless competition, it can be difficult to rise above the pack. However, as Mark Caine says, “The first step towards success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” Do the work that makes good workers great or average businesses exceptional, and you will find yourself reaching victories you never thought possible.

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My goal is to provide you with thoughtful, informative, and inspirational content that may increase your productivity, relationships, and well-being.

Sanford, NC
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