How to Move Up the Corporate Ladder

How to Climb the Corporate Ladder and Grow Your Career

Are you an aspiring and ambitious business professional stuck on how to advance your career? Are you wondering how to climb the corporate ladder or start your own company, but don’t know where to begin?

If so, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that more than 3 in 4 professionals (76 percent) today are looking for opportunities to expand their career horizons. One survey, cited by LinkedIn, found that those looking to advance their careers are often seeking higher pay (59 percent), a better work-life balance (48 percent), and a sense of purpose (41 percent). No matter your reason, climbing the career ladder can lead to many benefits in your professional and personal life.

With the right ambition, approach, and strategy, you can achieve career growth. The question is, where do you start? This guide offers four recommendations for ambitious individuals looking to stand out for promotions and climb the corporate ladder!

What is the “Corporate Ladder”?

The term “corporate ladder” signifies progress inside an organization—from the basic, entry-level positions to the top-level executive roles—through promotions.

This hierarchy provides opportunities for individuals seeking to expand their knowledge, skills, and experience while moving toward their desired leadership position. For example, entry-level positions are at the bottom rung of this metaphorical ladder, often filled by recent business school graduates. Meanwhile, managers who oversee entry-level employees occupy the middle rungs, and executives who run the company are at the top.

Individuals wondering how to climb the corporate ladder—aka advance their career—within the company should seek to improve their knowledge, skills, and experience to show they’re ready to take on more responsibility.

Because, while middle management and executive roles come with higher salaries, annual benefits, and much more power to shape a company’s future, there’s also increased leadership and pressure.

Four tips on how to move up the corporate ladder

There are several things that candidates and current employees can do to level up their roles and stand out for promotions inside their company or organization. Here are just a few recommendations for growing in your career.

1. Identify your goals

To have a plan, you should first identify personal and professional goals. In doing so, you can make sure your career path meets your expectations and will get you where you want to be.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What industry do I want to work in (for example, corporate, education, manufacturing, state and federal government, or non-profit)?
  • Do I want to work for a Fortune 500, mid-sized, or small company?
  • Do I want to own my own business and be an entrepreneur?

By outlining your goals, you can break them down into actionable steps and identify the skills, knowledge, training, and education needed to reach your desired destination.

2. Pursue education and professional development

A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for executive roles, but many employers seek candidates with advanced degrees like Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), Master’s of Science in Finance (MSF), or Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL). These programs prepare students to succeed in executive roles, as well as provide valuable leadership-focused training.

Furthermore, candidates should look for degree programs that place a significant emphasis on developing skills in:

  • Communication: Articulating your ideas clearly and effectively is essential for building trust and leading teams.
  • Decision-making: Leaders must make sound judgments under pressure, which requires strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Integrity and trust: Building and maintaining strong ethical principles is paramount for leadership success.
  • Problem-solving: Businesses thrive on innovative solutions. Hone your ability to analyze complex situations and develop creative approaches.
  • Relationship building: Fostering positive connections with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders is vital for career advancement.

3. Build relationships

Strong professional relationships and partnerships improve teamwork, increase productivity, and foster positive morale overall. Look for chances to build these relationships in your college or university and in the workplace.

Some business schools, like Goodwin, offer current students and alums the benefit of a career services team and network of employers who provide career placement and counseling support. There you’ll also find resume and cover letter writing assistance, networking, workshops, mock interviews, individual counseling, career fairs, and more.

4. Show initiative and take risks

Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t about fulfilling your assigned tasks. It’s about demonstrating your hard work, dedication, and efforts to go the extra mile and exceed manager expectations.

Stay positive when met with a challenging task or assignment, offer to help new co-workers, and be willing to take appropriate risks to find creative solutions to the company’s problems or processes.

Also, consider taking calculated risks, such as highlighting your accomplishments to your boss or manager to show them exactly why you deserve a promotion or advance to a senior-level position.

Advance your career with a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL)

A Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) is a degree for individuals passionate about leadership, communications, and big-picture thinking. It is also an excellent choice for those who want to use their ambitious drive to fulfill rewarding and engaging careers at the top of the corporate ladder.

With an MSOL degree, graduates qualify for advanced positions, achieve executive leadership titles, and grow their voices and skills as business leaders.

Graduates go on to careers and earn high-paying salaries, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), such as:

  • Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers – $121,830
  • Chief executive officers (CEOs) – $189,520
  • Computer and information systems (IT) managers – $164,070
  • Human resources managers – $130,000
  • Sales managers – $130,600

Furthermore, those with a Master’s in Organizational Leadership degree draw on their multidisciplinary knowledge and training to inspire and empower employees through sociology, psychology, philosophy, and management courses.

Students in Goodwin University’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) program can complete their degree in as few as 20 months, part-time, and choose between a fully online or hybrid program.

If you are ready to develop the skills you need for personal and professional leadership success and expedite your corporate ladder climb, apply for our Master’s in Organizational Leadership degree today! Or contact us for more information. We can’t wait to accelerate your career!