Three Ways to Climb the Corporate Ladder (& Move Up After Being in the Same Role for Years)

Some people leverage a role as a receptionist, administrative assistant, intern, mailroom clerk — you name it — to get their foot in the door, make connections and work impeccably to climb the corporate ladder.

Well, not every position is a launching pad. What happens if you’re an administrative assistant at a magazine for 10 years and suddenly you decide to lean on your current job as a stepping stone? According to a piece in today’s New York Post, one of the first action plans encompasses pursuing a college degree.

1. Get schooled. In the piece, Gregory Giangrande, executive human resources director in the media industry writes, “The unemployment rate is three times higher for non-degree job-seekers than those with college degrees. Beyond that, your next step in education is directly related to what your interests are and where your skills lie.”

2. Attend training classes. To make strides within media and dismiss any notions from external sources that you’re pigeon-holed as a receptionist for life for instance, you need to think out of the box and get out of that cubicle. Leverage your current employer by seeing what training courses are available; volunteer for projects and ask to attend meetings. In other words, work it.

3. Get transferred into a department that offers career growth. If your current department seems dead end and you’re looking to transfer into another one that’s more interesting, you can rely on that opportunity to build a stellar reputation and work your way up.

And if you’re looking externally, a recruiter may not have the easiest time perusing your CV and seeing a decade of receptionist or admin roles stacked up against your aspiration to become an editorial assistant. Sure, many skills may be transferrable but it may be an easier sell internally to direct your career into your desired path at your current employer, build that resume and hone those skills, and then look externally. 

He adds, “No doubt you’ve made many contacts across the organization where you work. Leverage those, and inquire about potential transfers into departments that interest you — even as an administrative assistant. It’s a great way to get a feel for what a career in that field is like.”