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How To Climb The Corporate Ladder

In my book Climbing the Corporate Ladder, I list seven steps to creating a successful career inside a large organization.

  1. Clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career.
  2. Commit to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success.
  3. Build unshakeable self-confidence.
  4. Become an outstanding performer.
  5. Create positive personal impact.
  6. Become a dynamic communicator.
  7. Build strong, lasting mutually beneficial relationships.

Here is a brief overview of each of these steps.


Develop your personal definition of life and career success.  What works for you is what’s right for you.  Once you’re clear on what you want out of your life and career, you need to visualize yourself as a success.  You need to create a vivid mental image of what your success will look like.  This image will keep you going when things get tough.  Finally, you need to clarify your personal values.  Your values are your rudder.  They will keep you on course and help you make decisions in ambiguous and difficult situations – like a cancer diagnosis.


You have to commit to your success.  Do this by setting high goals and then doing whatever it takes to achieve them.  Stuff will happen as you go about building a successful career – some of it negative.  Choose to respond positively to negative people and events and you’ll move forward at a steady pace.


Choose optimism; it is powerful.  My optimistic attitude helped me get through my cancer surgery and subsequent treatments.  It will help you build your confidence.  Then face your fears and act.  Don’t let your fear of failure derail your career success plans.  Surround yourself with positive people, and jettison the negative people in your life.  Positive people will help you succeed.  Negative people will drag you down.

Outstanding Performance

Become an expert in your area of technical expertise, the go to person in your company.  Stay current by becoming a lifelong learner.  Make the most of your recovery time – take on line courses, volunteering and reading.  Make sure that you understand how business works.  Know your company and industry.  Manage your time, life and stress well.  Live a healthy lifestyle.

Positive Personal Impact

Become widely trusted, deliver on your commitments.  Build your unique personal brand.  Figure out how you want people to see you, then consistently and constantly act in a manner that will get them to do so.  Being a cancer survivor shows your toughness find a way to incorporate it into your brand.  Be impeccable in your presentation of self – dress for success.  Know and follow the basic rules of business etiquette.

Dynamic Communication

Three things here.  Become an excellent conversationalist.  Write in a clear, succinct manner that gets your ideas across.  Develop your presentation skills.  Many a career has been made on the strength of one great presentation.


Get to know yourself.  Use this knowledge to better understand others.  Pay it forward.  Do for others without expecting anything in return.  Good things will come back to you.  Resolve conflict in a manner that enhances, not hinders your relationships.  Finally, be a team player.  Do you part.   Share the credit.

This is a quick overview of the ideas in Climbing the Corporate Ladder.  Jenningswire readers can download a free copy of the book at http://www.BudBilanich.com/Climbing.

Read more posts by Bud Bilanich, Ed.D., The Common Sense Guy, a career success coach, leadership consultant, motivational speaker, bestselling author and influential blogger for JenningsWire.