It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on all of us. We’ve had to stay at home for most of last year, and the unemployment rate has rapidly risen to 10%, according to the Federal Reserve System. The lucky few who did manage to keep their jobs now have to deal with the psychological toll of working from home as the health crisis outside continues to ravage the economy.
It all sounds grim, doesn’t it? But don’t be too quick to throw in the towel on your career just yet! On a more positive note, coronavirus vaccines are now starting to roll out across the country. With that said, now might even be a good time to grab that promotion you’ve been eyeing. Ready to begin? Read on for our tips on moving further up the corporate ladder.
Have a clear goal
Before you start working on a promotion, think about what exactly you want for your career. Are you looking to attach the word “chief” to your job title? Or do you want to pioneer a new department altogether?
Laying down your goals will help you map out a checklist and set milestones for the next few months or years. For example, one thing you can do is to draft your own executive plan for your workplace. Note down the top challenges currently plaguing your company and list down action points which will help you address these problems. The bottom line, of course, is to show that you’re not only ready for heavier responsibilities, but that you care deeply for the success of your company.
Know how to market yourself
When you’re a senior manager, you often have your plate full from juggling meetings, evaluating reports, and making high-stakes decisions. That means there’s simply no room to think about self-marketing. However, curating your professional image can help get you that sought-after promotion. There are a few simple ways you can do this. For one, be active and visible in professional circles within and outside your field. Engage in relevant conversations via social media platforms like LinkedIn, or attend industry events involving fellow thought leaders. All of these will support your pursuit of career advancement.
Keep on learning
It’s easy to be complacent when you’ve had a storied career in your company. Qualifications, seniority, and a solid network within your organization — all these are enough to get that promotion, right? We hate to break it to you, but this isn’t always the case. As such, you’ll need to constantly update your knowledge base in order to remain relevant and competitive.
Thankfully, working at home has eliminated the need to commute, opening up more time for us to engage in such activities. The internet has made learning any business skill (or any skill for that matter) much more accessible as well as flexible to individual needs.
This is why more people, who have the time and funds, are looking at universities that offer online business degrees. These programs are just as valid as a traditional degree, with the main difference being that they are 100% coursework. Those who take an online business administration degree will learn skills that are tailored to high-paying corporate jobs such as financial manager, human resources manager, operations manager, and business analyst. With modern online business degrees providing such a wide range of skills training, it makes them ideal for those who wish to take some time out and work on improving their expertise to move up the corporate ladder.
On the other hand, those looking for short, in-depth courses can find plenty of those on Udemy and Coursera — covering a wide range of topics. The course content is crafted by experts and professors from top universities, ensuring you’re getting quality education even with free basic courses. Meanwhile, LinkedIn Learning is another excellent resource for career advancement, as the lessons are specifically targeted towards practicing professionals looking to fill a gap in their knowledge. It also has the added advantage of networking features, leveraging the social media side of LinkedIn to connect learners with career opportunities. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Of course, no matter the type of upskilling platform or education you choose, this new expertise will be invaluable. Plus, it will better position you as a candidate for promotion.
Backfill your position
Part of preparing to join the C-suite entails training your MVP subordinates to do the job you’re vacating. After all, you don’t want to be leaving a skill gap in your organization. To that end, start delegating small aspects of your job to them and see how they handle it. Did they do it well? If yes, assign it to them permanently. If not, advise them on what they can do better to complete the task. This is a good way of exposing your direct reports to high-level responsibilities and preparing them for leadership roles themselves. And what senior manager doesn’t want that for their team?
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the world uncertain about the future. However, you can’t wait forever to chase after a promotion that can so easily slip out of your grasp. So what are you waiting for? Get a head start this year by applying the above-listed tips.
Authored by Rita Joanne
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