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How to move up in a company: 11 steps you can take

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Moving up in a company is a goal many young professionals aspire to achieve. Career advancement can be very rewarding, providing ample opportunities for personal and professional growth.

If you want to climb the corporate ladder but aren’t sure how to get started, follow these 10 actionable steps on how to move up in a company so you can take the next step in your career.

11 steps to move up in a company

1. Think about your career aspirations.

The first step to moving up in a company is to think about where you want to take your career.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I want to advance within my current role?
  • Would I prefer a leadership position?
  • Am I interested in growing my career within the team I’m on now or in a different department?

Your answers to these questions will help you make an informed decision about your job trajectory.

2. Explore your career options.

Once you figure out the direction you'd like to take your career, you can learn more about the different opportunities available to you at your organization.

Start exploring your job options by:

  • Researching roles within your organization that match your career goals.
  • Identifying which positions interest you the most.
  • Evaluating how your current skillsets alight with those opportunities.

Talk to your leader if you aren’t sure what job opportunities could be available to you. They can provide valuable insights into your company’s organizational structure and help identify potential career paths for you.

3. Make a plan.

Next, outline the steps needed to achieve your career objectives. This plan should include short-term and long-term goals, as well as specific actions you need to take to reach them.

Don’t forget to share your plan with your leader. It will help them understand your goals so they can provide the guidance and support you need to achieve them.

4. Network with other professionals.

Networking can open doors to new opportunities. Plus, experienced professionals in your industry can offer advice to help you climb the corporate ladder.

You can build a strong professional network by:

  • Attending industry-related events and conferences.
  • Connecting with industry professionals and colleagues on LinkedIn.
  • Joining professional organizations in your city and networking groups at your place of employment.

5. Develop your personal brand.

Since you’ll be networking with other professionals, it’s important to build your brand on LinkedIn to make yourself stand out from others.

Follow people and company pages on LinkedIn, and then engage with them by:

  • Making insightful comments on posts.
  • Sharing unique content, such as professional tips or book recommendations.
  • Posting regularly.

6. Find a mentor

A mentor can provide new perspectives and extra support as you navigate your career. They can also hold you accountable as you work toward your professional aspirations.

Look for someone with experience in your field who can share their knowledge and help you overcome challenges. They could be someone at your company or a person you met through networking.

Your leader can also be a good resource for helping you find a mentor at your company.

7. Grow your skills.

Continuously improving your skills (and learning new ones) is essential for career advancement. It helps you perform your job more effectively and opens a broader range of career opportunities.

Focus on developing both your hard skills (technical expertise) and soft skills (interpersonal abilities). You may consider enrolling in courses designed to better your specific skillsets through platforms like:

  • Your company’s learning and development department.
  • LinkedIn Learnings.
  • HubSpot Academy.
  • Skillshare.

8. Take on new tasks.

Volunteering to tackle projects outside your current job responsibilities shows initiative and a willingness to learn. It’ll also help you develop new skills that could be valuable in a more experienced role.

Be proactive in seeking out new opportunities. Ask your leader if there are different tasks you can work on or other areas you can support. Just make sure your leader is aligned with you adding more to your workload!

9. Seek feedback.

Regularly seek feedback from your leader to understand your strengths and areas of improvement. Take this feedback and use it to adjust your performance and approach.

Using the feedback you are given shows you have a commitment to self-improvement, which is a quality highly regarded by employers.

10. Think outside the box.

Organizations value innovation and creativity. Being a forward-thinker makes you an important asset to the company you work for.

Show your ability to think outside the box by:

  • Proposing new ideas.
  • Finding solutions to problems.
  • Improving existing processes.

11. Put yourself out there.

When the opportunity for a promotion or a new role arises, don't hesitate to apply if you want the job.

You can make sure you’re prepared for the interview process by:

  • Practicing a mock interview with a leader, friend or peer.
  • Preparing answers to behavioral-based interview questions ahead of time.
  • Updating your resume.

Sharpen your professional skillsets.

There’s always room for improvement. Review these top areas of professional development to focus on with tips on how to use them in your everyday work. 
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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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