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Career 101: How To Climb The Ladder

Getting ahead in your career can be challenging, but it’s certainly worth it. By thinking ahead, finding your niche, improving yourself and learning from others, you’ll climb the ladder and become the businessperson you’ve always wanted to be.

Here are five tips to help you climb the ladder and excel in your career:

Set Goals

Do you have a five-year plan? If not, it’s time to start thinking of one. Decide where you want to be in five years, or ten years, and figure out what you have to do to get there.

Once you have an idea of what you need to do to get to the place you want to be, start breaking up your long-term goals into mini-goals.

Once your big picture is broken up into smaller puzzle pieces, it will be easier for you to believe that you are capable of achieving your goals. And, trust me, you really are capable. We can do so much if we just put our minds to it.

Get Yourself a Micro-Niche

Even if you’re qualified in your chosen field, in today’s times it’s no longer enough to be good at something general – you need to specialise. Become an expert within your micro-niche.

According to Daniel Priestley’s book Become a Key Person of Influence, it’s about finding your micro-niche: why just be a journalist when you could be one who specialises in crime scene investigation?

To find your niche, evaluate your passions and skills. Once you have an idea of what it’s going to be, narrow down that niche and do some research about it.

Focus your energy on honing your micro-niche. Whether it’s online courses, blogs, podcasts or perhaps night classes, learn more about your micro-niche up to the point of becoming an expert. Share your knowledge with others on social media or elsewhere, and you’re sure to get noticed.

Work on Your Weaknesses

Are you useless with Excel? Could you learn a thing or two about public speaking?

Instead of just accepting your weaknesses, work on them. There are so many options out there for upskilling these days. From online courses to educational YouTube videos to self-help books; there’s bound to be something that’ll help you master the things with which you’re struggling.

Overcome your weaknesses and you’ll soon see yourself excel in your career.

Find a Career Mentor

As professionals, we can learn so much from each other. Connecting with a successful person is bound to inspire you to do better, and be better.

“Take them out on a coffee date and learn as much as you can about the decisions they made. Ask them to become your mentor. This will help you deliberately practise the skills you want to learn, with someone who can give you clear, honest feedback, and who can speak from their own experience.”

Shane Parrish

Having someone to keep you accountable on your journey of self-improvement will make it easier for you to stay consistent and it will help you better understand the lessons you learn along the way.

Pick someone you look up to and ask them to be your mentor. It could be a co-worker who you admire, a family friend who’s made a success of himself as an entrepreneur, or perhaps someone on social media who inspires you.

Take note that can even have more than one mentor. According to The Muse, it’s a good idea to have three mentors:

  • A “me in one year” mentor
  • A “where I want to be in five years” mentor
  • A “what do I want to do with my career” mentor

Who’s going to be your mentors?

Learn from Your Leaders

Observe the high rollers (including your boss) to find out what they’re doing right, and learn from them.

The leaders in your field or workplace probably have tons of experience, as they’ve had their share of wins and losses.

If you have an idea of someone in your company who’s in your dream role, but don’t know him or her personally, find a colleague who does and ask for an introduction. Go out for lunch or coffee with the person, and listen to his or her story. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself a new mentor.

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