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My Plan to Climb the Corporate Ladder

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Have you made any effort to climb the corporate ladder at your work? Do you feel like you have a solid plan to do it, or are you just working blindly without direction? I can’t honestly tell you that I had a plan a couple of years ago, but for the past few months, I have definitely been focusing on the climb, and I feel like I’m already eyeballing the top of the ladder!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a few weeks, you know that I’m really an entreprenuer at heart. I love to create wealth where no one else sees potential, and I enjoy being able to increase my earnings without years of effort (did you know I made $3,842 online in the month of February?)! However, I simply can’t ignore the tremendous opportunity at my place of employment.

Baby Boomers Are Everywhere!

My first day on the job was pretty standard. I was shown where my desk was, I was introduced to our entire department, and I was given a broad overview of the tasks that I would perform in the coming weeks and months. Nothing was really out of the ordinary….. except the age of the workforce. Everywhere I looked, there were age spots and thinning hair. In the next few weeks, I discovered that 30% of our workforce was going to be retiring in the next 10 years!

Right now, I am 26 years old. In 10 years I’ll still be well under 40, and I’ll have about 1,500 jobs to choose from (many of them in higher management)! This scenario has opportunity written all over it. I just needed to figure out how to put myself in the right position.

My Skills

I am a very analytical person. Hand me a sheet of paper with a bunch of percentages and numbers, and I could tell you within a few seconds which ones are the outliers, what the cause might be, and how we could remedy the situation. It’s a great skill to have, but I don’t feel like I’m able to showcase these skills in my current role, I really need to be in finance.

Finance Is Where CEOs are Bread

If you take a look at a random sampling of 100 CEOs, I bet 40% or more have a finance background in some form or fashion. They understand what the company’s numbers mean, and they’re able to course correct the business because of it.

I happen to love finance, and I’m also excited that it’s such a great path for future leadership in any given company.

How I Plan on Shifting My Career

The first step was easy! Since my degree is in finance, I simply asked my boss if it would be ok if I take on some additional projects for the finance department. She was more than ok with me taking on the extra responsibility, just so long as it didn’t impact my current work. She actually gave me some helpful contacts within the finance department to get me started!

In addition to my initial projects, I decided to seek out a mentor as well. With the help of our people services contact, I was able to get paired up with a Vice President, and he has been an invaluable resource within the Finance Department. By networking through him, I am now able to meet with every leader within Finance.

As long as I keep these contacts and do an exceptional job on my projects (and also obtain my MBA – I start class in the fall), I’d say the sky is the limit! 10 years from now, I would not be surprised if I found myself in a VP position. It should be a fun ride!

What do you think of my plan to get to the top? Do you have anything to add?

Money

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

38 Comments

  1. Wow, Congrats. Sounds like this could be the goose that gives you many golden eggs. Keep us updated, it will be great to hear how this works out for you over the years.

    • Could be! I love the path that I’m headed down. It looks very promising!

  2. It certainly sounds like a great plan, especially with so many potential retirees.

    • It’s going to take a bit of time, but I’m pretty excited about it! 😉

  3. Everyone needs a mentor. That is what will keep you on track. However you are a success no matter what.

    • Thanks for the compliments Jai! I think it’s going to be a huge asset to my successful future.

  4. I think it sounds like a great plan! Good luck with your path.

    • Thanks Michelle! It’s going to be new and exciting, that’s for sure!

  5. I think that sounds like a great plan. I love the idea of getting a mentor.

    • The mentor is awesome, especially since he’s in the department that I’m interested in! It’s been a crazy good resource already.

  6. It sounds like a great plan, but it also sounds like you are going to be super busy. I thought that you were busy before, but now…Wow!

    • Lol. Yeah…I’m not sure how many more things I can cram into my schedule! By the time I start school though, I should have most of the interior renovations done with the house, and I’ll have to hire a few more staff writers to maintain my sites. It’ll all work out I’m sure!

  7. “I can’t honestly tell you that I did not have a plan a couple of years ago”

    Like the post, but I can’t honestly not understand what you are saying here, can’t you?

    • Lol! You didn’t like my double negative? Arg…. Thanks Brian. I’m fixing this right away.

  8. Hi Derek,
    I feel you are in the best phase of your career mainly because you are totally focused on the goals that you want to achieve in the next 10 years and also that you have got a good mentor. So what else do you need? I guess a nice cup of coffee 🙂

    • Funny you should say that! I’ve actually been acquiring a love for coffee lately… 😉 I assume that it will soon be a necessity!

  9. Wow…right up my alley. Interesting…I think you will find two areas that are actually ahead of finance in the paths of CEO’s. One is sales and the other is operations. Just look at notable successions of the most successful companies. Rarely is the CFO (chief finance officer) the next in line. It’s usually someone with a firm grasp of the operations of the business. Great goals though…wht you describe has been my life the last 15 years. It’s very rewarding but also has high burnout potential.

    • Well, I guess I’m in a good spot then! I’m currently in supply management and have been learning about operations for a few years now! 🙂

  10. I think it’s fabulous that you have a goal- a VP position in 10 years, and that you know the first step in the path to getting there- get your MBA, but do you really have a plan?
    I’m not trying to be mean or judgemental, but to reach an ambitious (though completely doable) goal like you have, you need to know the steps.
    About how many levels between your current job and the VP level? How much time to people at your company, and in the industry in general, spend in a position? (I shoot for 3-5 years in a position. In my field- healthcare administration- that’s cutting it short. For my friends who work in the game industry, more than 5 years in a position means you’re not good enough to do more.)
    It seems you’re already planning on leaving your current department for finance. Are there the positions you are looking for in the finance department? Or will you have to go outside the department or even the company to complete a crucial step? (In my company, there are operations at the manager level- where I am now, and operations in the Sr VP range and up, but none at what would be the next step for me. To get a director level position in administration/operations, I will almost certainly have to leave my current company, even if I want to eventually land back here.)
    Knowing your end goal is the most crucial step in formulating a career plan, but for an ambitious plan like yours, you need to start looking at your entire timeline.
    I wish you the best of luck!

    • I know that the average persona takes a while to move from one position to another, but I’ve never been average. In fact, people refer to my life as “The Derek Train” because I just seem to chug toward success wherever I go, without fail. I’m sure it will catch up with me sooner or later, but for now, I’m going to keep pressing forward and enjoy the ride. 🙂

  11. Sounds like a pretty good plan; here’s hoping you have good luck getting everything done. Getting your MBA sounds particularly ambitious, as does most of your plan. But then, I guess that’s the whole point of a plan to climb the corporate ladder; it’s you being ambitious with your goals.

    • Thanks Roger! I’m sure I’ll still have this blog in 10 years (hopefully at that point, it will be famous), so I’ll let you know what I achieved when I get there! 🙂

  12. You are doing all the right things. You will learn what else you can do as you get deeper into it. Ask a lot of questions and use lunch or spare time to get to know your mentor. he is a great resource.

    • We like to go out for breakfast, and believe me, I ask a ton of questions! 🙂

  13. Good strategy! My workplace is pretty old too. We’ve got 320 employees… with an average age of 49. Let’s hope all of those upcoming retirements will help open the doors for us younger folks =)

    • That’s what I’m banking on. Our older employees have a ton of knowledge, and if I plan to move into those roles, I’m going to have to keep asking questions and soak in all of the information I can!

  14. Seeking a mentor is key – great job connecting yourself! Ambition is another, and I know you have that. Staying positive when curveballs come is another key – life can deal some nasty blows – stay the course and keep chuggin’!

    • Thanks Kevin! I’m enjoying my course so far – we’ll have to see what the future holds!

  15. Wow dominating online and climbing the corporate ladder too? What can’t you do? Awesome stuff!

    • Lol! I’m sure there are plenty of things that I can’t do…. like….. play volleyball. One of my worst sports ever! 😉

  16. some nice thoughts Derek. however, with hustling in the office and studying late nights outside the office all while maintaining ‘life’, how do you plan on managing your various online businesses?

    • That is the million dollar question. Is it possible to juggle everything?? Well, some time before my classes start, I’m going to have to hire some staff writers and make my other online ventures semi-passive. I will most likely earn less, but I still think it’s managable.

  17. I’m sure you will accomplish your goal!! Take time for you and Mrs. LAMF. Good luck Derek in your goal.

    • Ha! Yeah, sometimes I might be accused of working too much, but we have fun too! In fact, we just came from the tennis courts! 🙂

  18. What a great plan, good luck to you!

    • Thanks Deanna! We’ll have to see how it plays out! 🙂

  19. I think you will be surprised. More and more people choose time, not money.

    In nowadays cost of living is relatively low and if you drop expensive cars, vacations and the rest of the toys. I can live happily with less.
    Younger generation chooses freedom, rather than corporate ladder.

    As soon as old hands retire, you will be either driving inexperienced staff and could be very ungrateful and time consuming experience.
    But in overall – you are right. If you choose career instead of living your life there is immense opportunity out there.

    • With the opportunity that I currently have in front of me, I just can’t see choosing time right now. I’m 100% going to make a move in the company, and hopefully advance to higher-level positions.


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