Once upon a time, it took a number of years to work from being an intern to being the Vice President. However, times have changed as an article in Forbes pointed out. Many of the old “rules” of the workplace are gone, including this one. That said, interns who want to move up can still be expected to take certain steps up the corporate ladder. If you have your sights set on being VP one day, you’ll find these steps to be helpful.
If you’re an intern looking to move up, then it means that you’ve already got this step down. However, the advice is worth looking at in depth. According to Investopedia, getting a degree from a prestigious school like Yale or Princeton can definitely help. However, getting an education helps because it exposes you to disciplines and ways of thinking that you might never encounter otherwise. Being in a university program also makes you a prime candidate for an internship and exposure to people in the industry you’d like to work in.
Find Your Internal Network
If you already know people in your industry or even in the company you’d like to work at, you’re ahead of the game. Payscale.com tells the upwardly mobile to do all they can to network with the stakeholders in their intended company. Fortunately, this is something that an internship will provide for you. In fact, doing an internship gives you access to company stakeholders in a way that a formal introduction at a social event won’t. Those in a position to hire you can see how you work.
Work When You’re At Work
It’s not enough to just show up to work. Make each hour and task count. Volunteer for jobs that people don’t like. Respond to each issue with urgency and attention to detail. There’s an enormous amount of responsibility that comes with positions like Vice President. Taking steps like this show the powers-that-be that you’re not afraid of work and that you’re not afraid of solving problems once they arise.
In other words, you gain experience by doing this. Investopedia says that having experience as a critical component of moving into positions of high management. The article cites Anne Mulcahy, who was once CEO for Xerox, as someone who started out in sales and who moved on to higher positions. Her 25 years working in the business helped immensely when it was time to move into an executive position.
Each work environment has its own culture. Make sure you fit into the company that you want to work in. Dress the part. Learn about what your company is all about. Find out what your boss would like to achieve. Is there some way you can contribute to that?
Be Your Own Advocate
The Forbes article goes as far as to say that you should keep a file of your successes. It’s worth it to review this file with your boss from time to time. Did you land a big account? Are your sales consistent? Do you save your department money? Keep track of things like this and have the numbers to back it up. When it comes time for promotions, you’ll be able to show in concrete detail what you bring to the table.
David Milberg is an experienced credit analyst in NYC. He is a long-time owner of Milberg Factors, a factoring and finance company with locations in New York, California, and North Carolina.