How to climb the career ladder faster

Making progression is what careers can tend to be all about. Every job you take is essentially a stepping stone on the road towards your ultimate success and happiness.

In some ways, this is a really positive outlook, as every effort you make can cumulatively pay off as you move towards the future.

Looking at your career as an ever-expanding and ever improving growth and progression can be hopeful and inspiring.

But in other ways, the image of a career ladder can be a little daunting. The idea of having to maintain a continuous and upward motion can sound exhausting, and like you’re always going to be striving for, and never actually achieving, your goals.

If you’re feeling down in the dumps about your progression on the career ladder, though, there are things that can help. Rearranging your thinking, and restructuring your ideas about your career trajectory, can not only make you feel happier and more secure, but can also help you move more quickly towards achieving your goals.


Formalise your plans


Making steps towards an eventual dream or life’s aim sounds easy enough, but many people forget one thing. You must already have this final goal (at least somewhat) in place in order to know what you’re working towards.

For one thing, knowing where you want to end up can be a great source of inspiration when you’re finding things tough.

But for another, knowing your professional endgame can make it seem more clear exactly which steps you need to be taking to get you there.


But be flexible


It can be dangerously easy to become too focused on where you want to get to, and allow that singular focus to prevent you enjoying where you are right now. But there’s another danger, too. A mindset which is too focused on the future can become stagnant.

You may end up chasing a dream for the sake of it and forget exactly why you want it. Keeping a goal in the back of your mind can make it easy to spur you on towards the future, but make sure you’re taking the time to re-examine and evaluate this goal.

If you end up realising you’re less sure about where you want to be then don’t be afraid to make some changes. Knowing you’re sure about where you want to end up is really the key to your eventual career happiness.


Always be learning


It’s essential to your personal and professional happiness that you never stop learning. This means making sure that whatever you’re currently working on, you’re able to take something valuable out of it.

If you feel like you aren’t learning, ask your boss if you can take on new tasks, take on a project with more responsibilities or assist someone else in the team one afternoon.

If this isn’t possible in your role, you can learn alongside your role. Read articles and blogs, listen to podcasts and take online courses on your career interests.


Use who you know


Many feel uncomfortable at the idea of networking, but it can be one of the most important aspects of moving up the career ladder. Trying to forge connections with those around you, knowing they could be helpful to your career advancement in the future, is undeniably helpful.

Having a positive and outgoing attitude when meeting people in your industry is never a bad idea, and could be something that pays off massively in the future.


Stop comparing yourself


In the professional world, it can be easy to see everything as a competition. After all, many of us want broadly the same thing – an interesting, well-paid, and highly respected position in our sphere.

But while many of us share this sort of similar goal, it’s important to remember that every single person’s career path will be different.

Just because someone got something that you wanted doesn’t mean that the same sort of good things aren’t also coming for you. Try to reduce the competition to just be between you and yourself. Always strive to do better than you have in the past, and try to cancel out the noise of what everyone else is up to.


Ask around for help


Many feel strangely ashamed of their professional dreams, and want to keep them hidden and secret.

While this can be a natural impulse, it can also mean you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Letting those around you know what your ambitions and dreams are can help make them more a part of reality.

Discuss with your boss or manager about different ways to take the next steps in your career. If people don’t explicitly know you’re hoping to move forward in the corporate world, they may never consider you when such a position becomes available.


Celebrate success – no matter how small


When you’re constantly striving for more, it can be too easy to let your current achievements be swept under the carpet. But in order to stay passionate and motivated, you need to pay attention when things go well.

Taking time to understand your achievements and to congratulate yourself is absolutely essential.

If you don’t, you can easily start to forget why you’re even trying to achieve more. Work hard and push yourself, sure – but remember that you should also be kind to yourself, too.


Stay positive


In all aspects of life, a positive attitude can make a huge difference, but nowhere is this more true than when trying to advance in your professional sphere.

Climbing the career ladder isn’t easy – otherwise the act would probably be named with a different metaphor – so staying happy while you’re doing it can be key.

If you get too bogged down in the consistent, back-breakingly paced forward motion, you can end up pushing yourself into burn out. Taking things at a more manageable and enjoyable pace could help.

And remember to always be as kind to yourself as possible. Professional advancement is hard, and you’re doing the best you can.

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