So, you’ve decided you’re tired of being a low-level employee and you’re ready to start earning a higher salary in a more prestigious and lucrative job position?

Well, join the club – so has everyone else, yet only a minority will ever take the steps necessary to climb up the corporate ladder and become a manager, supervisor, CEO, or other high-level employees. Whether you’re trying to climb the ranks with your current employer or you’re a student who wants to make sure you’re ready to land high-paying jobs after graduation, you can improve your chances of making it to the top by heeding the following 9 tips:

1. Earn a Relevant Degree

Certain degrees will get you in the door as a manager almost automatically.

For example, earning a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) can give you the credentials needed to persuade almost any hiring manager or company owner into bringing you on board in a managerial position. Although it may take a while for you to graduate from an MBA program, you can study and advance in your spare time and continue to work your current job by enrolling for web-based courses through a program like the one offered by Suffolk University Online.

2. Practice Perfect Punctuality

While other factors are certainly considered, punctuality is usually one of the top concerns that business owners and CEOs consider when deciding who they should give a raise or promotion to. In fact, in some cases, your ability to be on time every day is even more important the quality of your work. This is evident by the fact that many managers and owners will promote someone with inferior quality work simply because they know they’ll be on time. Become the employee who’s known for never being late and you’ll already be halfway up the ladder.

3. Solve Problems Without Being Asked

People take notice when you’re creating positive change within the company on your own accord.

Look for ways to make improvements to workflow or processes within your current job position and your superiors might take notice and consider promoting you to a more prestigious position. You can also use this tip to improve your chances of being hired by a new company, as you can include a note that provides suggestions for improvement within your application or project proposal.

4. Work on Your Confidence and Charisma

Let’s face it, many people are only managers and CEOs because of their personality. They might not be the smartest, most capable, or even hardest working person in the company, but the way they’ve interacted with their superiors and the way they’re perceived is what makes them so promotable. Unfortunately, the opinions of your superiors can be heavily influenced by social stereotyping and preconceived notions, but in any case, you can usually overcome such circumstances and gain favor by working on your own confidence and charisma. This can help you tremendously on your trek up the corporate ladder because oftentimes it’s not about what you can do, it’s about who you are as a person.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Apply

Failure to apply themselves and apply for better jobs are two of the most common reasons why many people wind up stagnating in their career. After all, how will you ever know what you’re capable of if you never take the chance of finding out? While it isn’t wise to waste time applying for jobs that you’re definitely not qualified for, you’d be surprised how many companies will hire management staff with little to no experience in certain fields. Get on job search sites, examine your career options, and start applying.

6. Build a Formidable Resume

Your resume/CV is by far your most important asset in getting your foot in the door for an interview, as every hiring manager starts by looking at who you are on paper. If your resume is sloppy, looks incomplete, or is just generally unimpressive, you can expect a very difficult journey on your way up the ladder. On the other hand, if you take the time to build diverse career experience and document it on a professionally formatted resume, you’ll have a much higher chance of landing your dream job.

7. Create a Diverse and Impressive Portfolio

Similar to the resume, your portfolio is another important piece of content that you should be presenting to every prospective employee. Doing this will really help you stand out, as many applicants don’t take this extra step. If you don’t yet have anything worthwhile to show in your portfolio, well then that’s where the hard work comes in – start thinking of things that you can create or do and then photograph or document in a way that is relevant to the advancement of your career path.

8. Don’t Become Discouraged

As you make your way up the ladder, you might find that there are times when you’ll need to take a step back or stay on the same step for a very long time. During such difficult times, it can be easy to become discouraged and settle for your current situation. Did you know that most people give up right before they’re about to have a breakthrough? Why? Because, statistically, that’s the most difficult time on your way to the top, as you’ve already put in all of the necessary work but you haven’t yet seen the results you were aiming for. At that stage, it’s best just to exercise persistence, perseverance, and patience instead of giving up on your aspirations.

9. Enter an Industry That Needs Help

One of the most reliable ways to ensure you can land a high-ranking job in the near future is to begin studying for a career path that will allow you to work in a field that is in desperate need of employees.

Know When It’s Time to Move On

Of course, if you’ve already done everything you can and your current employer seems to have no interest in giving you a raise or promotion, it might just be best to take your talents elsewhere.

Likewise, if you’re finding it too difficult to find a new job within a specific field, you might want to consider broadening your horizons.

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