How to Move From “Entry-Level” or “Associate” to “Senior” and “Executive”

Corporate America is more competitive than ever. Companies are focused on identifying, recruiting, developing and retaining individuals with the best skills. Those employees that do show promise and a willingness to go the extra mile are the ones that will advance.

Recent research shows that promotions in the U.S. are most likely to occur in January, June and July—according to a LinkedIn survey. Continuous professional development is vital when seeking advancement and success in the workplace.

Here are a few tips you can use to help move up the corporate ladder faster:


Expand your network— Networking is everything these days. It not only provides you with a group of individuals who can assess your growth in the field honestly, but it gives you a list of trusted individuals you can tap for mentoring. Mentors can help you improve your skills, offer guidance and set the pace for your career. Tapping mentors within your organization is important when trying to understand the culture of the business. They can help you navigate corporate expectations and “target” words that are vital when interviewing for that executive or senior-level position. It is also good to extend your network outside of the organization.  Look for mentors that know your industry so that you can learn more about their experience and expertise.

Gain as much experience as you can.
If you want to be noticed you have to put yourself in visible positions. You need to show your bosses that you are ready for more responsibility. This means looking for opportunities that involve senior-level work. Try getting involved with committee work or talking to teammates at that higher level that could use a hand with the workload. Get as much experience as you can by taking initiative. This will help you expand your resume skills and show that you have been comfortable working at a higher level. It also gives you something to talk about when interviewing for a senior or executive-level position.

Show that you are responsible.
Showing your boss that you’re not only an exceptional employee but one that is prepared and responsible goes a long way when looking to climb the ladder. When projects are assigned to you, don’t procrastinate getting them done. Jump on your tasks immediately and organize priority levels. This shows how serious you are about your job and your eagerness to do more. On the other hand, if you happen to drop the ball on a task or miss a deadline, don’t hesitate to stand up and admit your mistake and apologize. Taking responsibility in this way shows your boss that you are not only willing to bear the brunt of responsibility but also willing to handle the consequences of failure to complete or finish the task. No one is perfect, and bosses get that. They want senior or executive-level employees that can handle the pressure of these types of positions and need to trust that you have the work ethic needed to rise to the occasion.

Communication is king.
Proper communication is essential to a successful career. If you are able to put your thoughts and opinion across in an effective manner, you will get the most attention. Healthy communication practices and skills will give you the opportunity to sit among the C Suite executives. Communicate effectively, clearly, with precision, and with feeling, but watch your inflection and tone. Being able to say something is one thing, being able to communicate it with the proper emotion is also a skill that stands on its own. Letting emotions get the best of you or not keeping a level head can quickly eliminate your chances for climbing the ladder. Bosses need to see that you can be a leader, and much of that comes down to how and what you communicate.

PrideStaff Financial is nationally recognized as a leader among accounting and finance recruiting firms. We can help you put a plan together to advance your career. Contact our financial recruiters today to find out how we can help you.