Is Climbing the Office Ladder for You?

Michele Warg
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For many people in administration careers, the standard job progression leaves little room for flexibility. Before you embark on a path that leads you up your company's career ladder, it is crucial to determine whether it suits your personal and professional interests. By studying the potential jobs in your future, you can avoid wasting years at a company that doesn't fit into your ultimate career plan. 

For many administrative professionals, the standard path for administration careers depends entirely on the organization and industry. In an educational institution, for example, an administrator might start out in an assistant position and move up to be a director. The same person might move around to different departments within the same school, ensuring that there is always the potential for new challenges. In a small business, however, an administrator may only be able to go from assistant to administrator.

When you are considering potential administration careers, it is crucial to consider the potential for career advancement within your organization. If you are a young professional, it is important to consider the number of positions that are available for you to move into. What's more, you must gauge the likelihood that the people in those positions will move up or on in a reasonable amount of time. If the person in the position directly above you has plans to stay put for ten years, for example, you may be stuck in your current job with nowhere to go.

In many administration careers, the office ladder is relatively short. If your goal is to become a high-level administrator, you may need to work in each successive position for a number of years before gaining the experience you need to move up. For people who have trouble staying engaged without new challenges, this can be a difficult proposition. Before you commit to a career with a single organization, it is important to consider whether or not you can stay interested and motivated without frequent career advancement moves.

When it comes to administration careers, it is important to consider the things you will need to do to move up the ladder. In addition to performing well, you will need to market yourself to company decision makers. You'll need to understand organizational politics and use them to your advantage. According to a recent Bloomberg article, getting ahead at work often requires risk. By choosing to climb the corporate ladder at your office, you must be comfortable with a certain amount of risk—including being fired or dealing with company bankruptcy.

By weighing the potential risks and benefits of specific administration careers, you will be better able to decide whether you want to climb the ladder at your company. An educated, carefully considered decision will lend you greater peace of mind and increase your chances of success.


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