It’s good to be the boss. People in charge of an organization not only make more money, they also have happier family lives, are more satisfied with their work, and worry less about their financial futures, according to a Pew Research report. Those in the top levels consider their employment a “career,” not just a job that pays the bills.
Of course, promotions to those top levels are never guaranteed. However, there are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances of advancing your career—whether with your existing employer or a new one. Long-term success relies on having as many options as possible and ensuring that you’re prepared when an opportunity arises.
What You Need to Advance in Your Career
Getting to the top of the corporate food chain becomes increasingly more difficult in the higher tiers of management. In many organizations, average performers in the lower ranks can expect some promotions simply by being competent and building tenure. Attaining higher positions or advancing at a faster rate, however, require the following elements, at the very least.
1. Corporate Opportunity
The more opportunities available to you, the better. For example, a rapidly growing company is dependent upon numerous managers to implement its strategies, whether introducing new products, expanding into new geographic territories, or capturing a larger market share. On the other hand, mature companies that already dominate an industry may have slower career paths, but may provide valuable experience and security for those willing to wait for their turn in corporate leadership.
Some mature companies have policies aimed at inducing turnover at the top levels. They may offer early retirements, buy-outs, and titles with superior compensation but no authority or responsibility—a kind of in-place retirement—in order to retain younger, aggressive managers who might otherwise leave the company. Your selection of employer is a critical element in the speed of your progression up the ranks.
Surprisingly, according to the Pew report, a greater percentage of employees are satisfied in their current position (43%) than those seeking promotion (39%). Nevertheless, competition increases as you climb the ladder, simply because there are fewer and fewer jobs the higher you get. Many may hear the call, but few are chosen.
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