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2014, Apr 16

Up the Corporate Ladder: How to Become the Boss

Up the Corporate Ladder: How to Become the Boss

by Tiffany Wong, Robert Walters Hong Kong, 31 May 2011

Besides being a highly competitive environment, the corporate world could be pretty volatile and unpredictable. If you have been working hard and not reaping the rewards you rightfully deserve, it would be wise not to leave your career in the hands of fate and hope it intervenes.

 
Set your career on the right path and push it along, ensuring that it continues to grow. The secret in scaling that corporate ladder is to move up one rung at a one time so that you can manage each step effectively.
 
So how can young professionals build enduring success and advance their careers to the next level – and keep rising? Here are our insights to some of these burning questions:
 
What do bosses look for?
Bosses ultimately want someone they can trust to do a job for them. If they know the individual is professional, credible and works in the best interests of the organisation, then they will rely on them to take on managerial positions. Most bosses also want to ensure that the people who are looking to rise up the ranks are able to deliver and have a track record of success.
 
Management is also about inspiring, leading and retaining the leaders of the future, so bosses will want to ensure that their own management structure is able to groom those underneath them to provide a pipeline of future management talent.
 
Just being good in your job does not necessarily mean you will be a good manager. This requires a different skill set and relies very much on your softer skills, so bosses will be assessing future managers on their potential people management and leadership skills as well as their performance in their current role.
 
What actions should I take?
It is not necessarily about shouting from the rooftops proclaiming all the extra work you have done to get noticed, but making yourself indispensable. Does your boss always rely on you? Do they turn to you frequently for help and suggestions? Are you making them look good?
 
Remember that if you are being assigned specific projects, it is probably because your management feels that you are the most capable person for the job. So all you really need to focus on is proving that your boss is always right (about you), and adopt a positive attitude at all times. Learning to take credit when it is due will help you climb that ladder more quickly.
 
However, you would also want to avoid being the person who they are constantly delegating work to, or you may start to feel that you are doing all their work or being taken for granted. You need to be having regular 'career chats' during appraisals and showing you are ambitious by asking your boss what you need to achieve in order to move on to the next level.
 
Ask for milestones so that once you have achieved them, you are able to point out that you have successfully accomplished what has been tasked to you in order to achieve that promotion. You should also work on your softer skills by interacting, grooming, training your colleagues and new recruits as this will help hone your management skills and display your ability to take the next step.
 

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