No one is content working at a dead-end job with no other place to go. At some point, employees want to move forward and climb the corporate ladder. The chance to ascend is a great motivator. It keeps people doing their best knowing that their hard work will one day be recognized and rewarded. Determination can turn an employee into an executive. It will become very difficult and rare, but it happens.
Jim Skinner, the former Vice Chairman and, eventually, CEO of McDonald’s started as a restaurant manager in 1971. It took him decades until he moved ranks. It was not until 2004 he reached the very top of the corporate ladder.
Jim Ziener was a freight elevator operator at Harley-Davidson in 1969. In 2005, he was named President and CEO of the company.
Recognize Windows of Opportunity
A person who is not prepared to take risks would not find success anywhere. Your comfort zone, although stable and safe, offers very limited chances for you to move forward and become a better version of yourself.
If you want to advance your career, you have to seize the moment. Cliche as it may be, you would not progress toward your goal if you cannot take any risks. Whether it is an opening in another department or a better position outside of your current office.
So, for example, if you are in the construction industry for a long time, you know how things work. You know what processes and procedures are inadequate or insufficient. You can use your experience and suggest an improvement to your employers. You can lead the effort and gain a new role.
Or, why not start your own business. You can jump at a hydraulic hose replacement franchise business opportunity and partner with your former employers or previous clients.
Be Open to Learning
Being stagnant would not get you anywhere. Your employers would not see any reason why you should be promoted and handed new roles if you cannot offer them something in return.
Strive to improve your skills and master your industry. As an adult, lifelong learning is an advantage. It will give you an edge against your colleagues, most of whom are probably vying for career advancement, too.
Through lifelong learning, you can remain competitive even as younger employees enter the workforce. You can assure your employers that you can offer valuable contributions to the company.
Industries do not remain unchanged through the years. The market changes constantly and industries adapt as a response. When you commit yourself to lifelong learning, your arsenal of skills gets regularly updated.
Know How to Work and Play with a Team
A team player is a valuable trait that employers want. An office is made of multiple people, all with different personalities and skills. It is very difficult to herald everyone toward the same goal. If you are a team player, you can work with anyone. You can inspire your colleagues to do their best to achieve your objective.
You cannot be a leader if you cannot work with other people. If you want to be an executive, you need to show that you are a leader. A team player knows that the team would not succeed if not all parts are working as intended. Only by working together would everyone reach their goal.
Help the Company Grow
Your contributions to the company will not go unnoticed. If you do your job well, your employers will see your value and they will do their best to keep you in their midst. Make your contributions count by doing your best at all times and by going above and beyond the call of duty.
Start by identifying which areas of the business you can contribute. Maybe you noticed that your company’s social media pages need help in growing followers and posting relevant content. Perhaps you can help digitize data and documents to modernize the office.
Making suggestions that will benefit the company and then taking charge shows that you can handle more important roles and tasks. Being involved is also a testament that you care about the company and want things to improve.
Moreover, it shows that you have a vision and you have fresh ideas. The company would want to tap into your wisdom and expertise to solve problems later on.
Climbing to the top of the ladder will not happen immediately. It will take time. In the case of Skinner and Ziener, you might have to wait decades before you can become CEO. However, with patience and hard work, you will be able to achieve your goals.