When you find a company that feels like the right fit, you understandably want to stay there forever. Still, you want to expand your skill set and take on more responsibilities so your career (and your professional acumen) can grow to new heights.
As someone who worked my way up the ladder in a family-owned business, I’m not only a proud partner of the company—I’m also a strong proponent that you can do the same.
Let me first start by clarifying that your growth within a business will only be advantageous if it’s the right place for you. If you feel uncertain or have some reservations about a company, take some time to explore those feelings before investing yourself further. You need to be certain the core values and philosophies align with yours, and that the environment is one in which you feel comfortable and respected.
If everything checks out, your potential within a business is not just tied to your abilities but to your commitment as well. Here are a few things that helped me work my way up in my company.
Be willing to say yes
Put yourself in a ‘yes’ mindset and look at every opportunity as a learning experience. You need to go above and beyond to show that you’re one step ahead of the pace. If needed, come in early and stay late to show how invested you are in the company. Prove your worth by being a team player and showing that you’re looking to build a career, not just show up for a job.
Explore other areas of the business
Even if you’re comfortable with your position, you need to open up your mind to the rest of the company. Get to know new people and learn the procedures of another department. If you’re working in sales but are asked to help load a truck, be the go-getter that is ready to learn every aspect of the operation.
Loyalty can feel hard to come by in the business world, so it’s a strong message to send to leadership that you’re here for the long haul. When you show loyalty, people believe in you and way to see you grow into a larger part of the company. When a company head can believe in your value and work ethic based on your actions, you will likely find your place in the business.
Promotions don’t happen overnight. Sometimes, they don’t even happen annually. For an employee to grow, the company must grow as well. In some cases, it may not be a matter of your potential, but more of a concern about internal resources. If you want to seek additional feedback, connect with your supervisors to identify any room for improvement.
Be patient and don’t lose hope—at the end of the day, your dedication to the company will shine through when the time is right. In my case, it took me 11 years in the company before I became a partner. Stay true to yourself and continue persevering.