So you want to climb the corporate ladder to that executive-level role that you've been dreaming of, but what concrete steps are you taking to get there?
Executive roles are the goal for many driven professionals but securing that position takes a lot of work. If you're looking to advance your career to a higher position of leadership then it's best to start today.
That corporate ladder may be steep but the top is never unattainable. These six tips will help you take the powerful steps necessary to landing your dream role.
Career Mapping and Setting Goals
There is so much to be said for the simple practice of setting career goals. Sit down with a notebook and maybe some colorful pens and brainstorm some concrete goals for your career trajectory.
Manifesting the position that you want begins with envisioning exactly what it looks like. Outline the steps that you need to take on your climb up the career ladder and be specific.
Do some career mapping and even note your previous roles and the career path that you've been on. Visualize the steps necessary to move up and write them down. Then set deadlines for yourself.
When you make a plan, it is easier to hold yourself accountable. You can dream of an executive position as much as you want, but it's the discipline and planning that will really take you there.
Dedicate Time to Learning
Dedicate time in your schedule to learning about executive-level positions and how to attain them. If you're reading this article then you're already on the right track!
Set up time blocks to do some reading or attend a seminar. You can even set goals for how many hours you want to spend on learning these necessary skills to be an executive.
There is so much information at your fingertips with only access to the internet. Figure out the best way for you to learn and dedicate some time to taking notes. Search up some podcasts, books, articles, YouTube videos, or classes on the topics you need some help with, and just dive in.
As you prioritize learning and make it a consistent part of your schedule, you will naturally gain the knowledge necessary to secure that role you're aiming for.
Most of the professionals in executive roles today knew how to be teachable when they were in lower positions. If you want to get to the top, you need to learn from those who are there now.
Learn how to take, and even look forward to, honest feedback. Positive feedback can be great, but constructive criticism from your superiors may be even more beneficial in your growth into an executive-level role.
Take advantage of executive coaching opportunities by connecting with your company's executive team and C-level executives every chance that you can. If you are out of work right now, but deep in the executive job search, tune in to career coaches on LinkedIn or Youtube.
Find a mentor to help you with your professional development. Mentors are truly the best career coaches. They can give you a deeper understanding of the requirements necessary to climbing the career ladder because they've been there. Close mentors genuinely care about your success and will put time into revealing your blind spots.
Executives and mentors aren't the only people to learn from. You can also ask for feedback from a partner, your peers, or others below you. Career advancement is all about learning from your current position and really taking advantage of those teachable moments.
When higher-ups notice that you are eager to learn and easy to teach, they will dedicate more time to your growth and maybe even open some doors for you.
Go the Extra Mile
You have to go the extra mile in your efforts to attain an executive-level position. If you want to move up in your current company, then put a priority on standing out. Complete every project or task to the absolute best of your ability and even try to take on more responsibility if you can handle it.
If you're applying for executive roles, take initiative to reach out directly to executives at the company and make yourself memorable. Ask them what they are looking for in the open position and then highlight your qualities that reflect that.
Do some research on the roles that you want and speak up when you have something important to add to the conversation. Don't be afraid to ask questions at seminars or follow up with speakers.
Develop your online presence on LinkedIn and comment on the posts that stick with you. Invite professionals to connect and follow up with a memorable message. Take every opportunity you can to network.
If you put proactive effort into shining then you're guaranteed to be noticed.
Develop Quality Leadership Skills
You need to have quality leadership skills to be an executive. There are so many opportunities for leadership roles on your journey to an executive role and mastering these different levels of leadership will get you to the top.
If you are already in some sort of management position, contemplate your leadership style. Weigh your strengths and weaknesses and even ask your coworkers for feedback on your management skills. Pay attention to the best leadership qualities in your career idols and put some time into learning how to model that executive presence.
Tune in to literature on leadership philosophy and take some notes. Begin to develop your own unique leadership philosophy with the knowledge that you learn from others and dedicate time to becoming a thought leader in your field.
Foster those team relationships and teach those who look up to you in your leadership position. In your race to the top, you can't forget the professionals who could learn from you. Putting time into their growth and career development is a big part of being a great executive.
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On your mission to secure an executive-level role, you must be resilient. Throughout your career, you are likely to have peaks and valleys.
It might get really frustrating at times when you are working hard to advance your career but encounter roadblocks along the way. It can feel defeated when another, possibly less qualified, professional is promoted instead of you, or your extra effort goes unrecognized.
Don't let yourself get hung up on these obstacles and more importantly, don't let them convince you to give up. The most successful people have experienced rejection and doubt throughout their journey, but their resilience is what carried them to the top.
Read some memoirs or biographies to learn about the journeys of other successful people when you're feeling down. Then you'll see how many "no's" it gives them to get that life-changing "yes." Remember that this is normal.
Remain dedicated to your goal of securing an executive position and picture yourself there. Take these roadblocks as motivation and funny stories to look back on when you're at the top.
In your job search for an executive-level position, you can also familiarize yourself with behavioral interview questions and salary negotiation practices.
Our recruiting team can be one of those proactive steps in climbing the corporate ladder. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you get that role that you've been aiming for.