In the Middle of the Steep Corporate Ladder
Middle managers often face the challenge of reaching what seems to be a plateau, which can be hard to overcome.
With too many responsibilities on their shoulders, these leaders often fall into the middle management trap where their interests in career advancement and personal development are neglected. So, here are a few ways to help you remain competitive in the tight labor market and get you started on leaving the middle seat and advance your career.
Never stop learning
Learning, which spans from industry trends to market changes, has become necessary for survival, especially for mid-level management. So, don’t shy away from new information and knowledge.
When it comes to career advancement, a middle manager aiming to progress in his line of work must have the ability to offer new ideas and perspectives. And the key: upskilling. Try to step outside the comfort zone of your current role and take up diverse opportunities to test your capabilities and expand your skill set in response to the changing environment and new developments in this digital era. Doing this will also be good exposure as it will open an opportunity for you to have a business-wide impact.
However, keep in mind that continuous learning should also be applied to your subordinates. Helping your team grow alongside you will prove that you are an effective leader worthy of a promotion.
Build your network
A well-developed professional network consisting of people who can vouch for you and provide you with insights and opportunities will greatly help you advance to the next step of the corporate ladder. So make yourself known by being visible and establishing your credibility.
You can create your personal branding in the hopes of letting the public know your capabilities and strengths. Still, the best way to make yourself known in the corporate world is through your work and how you present yourself.
In the corporate world, some people can dominate a boardroom or a corporate event with just their presence. This is what we call the ‘Executive Presence.’ Basically, these individuals exude a certain level of confidence and are seen as potential leaders with just the way they speak, the way they dress, and the way they behave around fellow professionals. Getting the hang of this may help you find people in the same position that you want in the future whom you can learn from.
A little help
You have the knowledge and wisdom, a network of professionals, and a team that continues to grow with your help. But without the Executive Presence, are you well-represented? Working with a headhunter may be able to help highlight your strengths and open opportunities perfect for you.
Some say that middle managers often slow down the innovation process of an organization by controlling what ideas get passed along in each direction. However, the public often forgets the fact that despite this negative connotation, they are also the key to innovation.
So, as a middle manager, you must keep an open mind when entertaining innovative ideas from your team or the top executives. Aside from being identified as a great leader, this also boosts your team's morale and encourages them to improve their creativity.
As a manager, you already know much about the business world and are already equipped with what you need to realize your career goals. All that is left for you to really do is continue building your qualities, hold on to your competencies, and work on making yourself better daily. A little bit of courage will help as well to push you to commit to reaching the next step of the corporate ladder and build a successful career.
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any mentioned entity.