Finance 101: Climbing the Career Ladder

Finance 101: Climbing the Career Ladder

There is nothing wrong with entry-level positions, especially when you’re fresh out of school and looking for work in your future profession. However, after a year or two in your entry level position, you should already be planning your next move.

Are you enjoying the field you are in? Are you ready for more responsibility (and more pay)?

If “yes” is the answer to these questions, then it’s time for you to start climbing the career ladder! This week, the CGS Team is going to help you learn how to do just that.

After some extensive research, we put together the tips that will help you work your way up in the field you are in. You may also want to check out the article How to Stand Out in the Workplace for tips on being a star employee in your current role!

Climbing the Career Ladder Tip #1: Learn All You Can

If you know that your entry-level job is in the industry you plan on staying in (for now, at least), then take the opportunity to learn all you can about the profession.

Although you may be at the bottom of the career ladder now, you have the chance to train and take tests, read industry policies and guidelines, learn about your job role as well as other job roles within the field, and learn the common systems utilized by other people in the industry.

You might not enjoy the work you have to start out with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of your situation! You are already one step closer to your dream job by being in a job role for a company in your field of choice.

If you finish your tasks and projects early, ask your supervisor what knowledge building resources they recommend. The more knowledge you have, the more of an asset you become!

Climbing the Career Ladder Tip #2: Dress to Impress

The saying “dress for success” still holds true and applies to women now more than ever.

“Men of a certain caliber have bespoke suits. Women tend not to be as conscious that dress is part of their professional brand,” says Rand Kaspi of LawScope Coaching.

Whether you work in a corporate environment, sales and retail locations, or a non-customer facing workplace, always dress to impress!

Make sure that your work attire is professional, neat, and appropriate. We are not saying that you need to wear tailored suits every day, but dress as best as you can for the industry you are in.

If you are a teller at a bank, business casual clothing may already be a requirement (and if not, make it a personal requirement). If you work for a magazine company, dress professional while keeping current fashion trends in mind. Perception is reality, and dressing the part will help remind people that you ARE the part!

Climbing the Career Ladder Tip #3: Network

Not only can networking help you outside of your current job, it can help you while you are in your current job! Networking with people who are in positions you are working towards, or people who can offer guidance and mentoring is crucial!

Don’t be afraid to talk to these people. Send an inter-office email letting the person know that you would like any pointers they can offer for moving up. Taking initiative and reaching out shows that you aren’t afraid to speak.

As you grow in your industry, you will have to speak with different people with diverse backgrounds. The worst thing someone can say is no and the chances of that happening are slim.

Also, make sure to network with your peers. Everyone is there for the same reason as you and being open to getting to know your peers could pay off for you in the future. Make sure that you aren’t getting too personal though, your peer could be your competition.

Climbing the Career Ladder Tip #4: Get Your Hands Dirty

Be prepared to do some grunt work. Unfortunately everyone starts out at the bottom or close to it, and that means getting your hands dirty and doing the work that others don’t want to do.

Stepping up and volunteering for work that no one else wants to do will get you noticed. Managers and other leaders will appreciate your work ethic and keep you in mind for future projects.

Do the best job you can at any task you are assigned or you volunteered for. Not only will you be recognized for volunteering, but your excellent results will speak very highly of you.

If you have goals that need to be met in your line of work, make sure you are always reaching and surpassing them. In a production based environment, numbers are everything.

Climbing the Career Ladder Tip #5: Explore Other Options

If you have put the time in, learned the ins and outs of the industry, and took on grunt work then you should be ready for the next level. Interviewed for a promotion and didn’t get it?

Speak with your manager to see what you could have done differently. If you don’t seem to be moving anywhere and your manager isn’t rooting for you, then don’t be afraid to explore other options.

There are other companies out there who are willing to recognize your talent and promote you accordingly.

According to Lisa Quast, a contributor for, “when a boss purposely halted my career advancement, I chose to accept a position with another company. I was able to demonstrate my skills and was promoted three times within two years.”

Sometimes you have to venture into the unknown to get where you want to be.

Related: Setting Goals for Your Career

Hard work and determination will pay off for you, ladies. Put the time in and you will be rewarded; and remember, if you aren’t then look elsewhere!

Do you have any tips to share with the community about how you’ve grown in your career? Did you have a manager or leader who was on your side? Share your thoughts and feedback by leaving a comment below!

-The CGS Team



1 thought on “Finance 101: Climbing the Career Ladder”

  1. Wondering how this would apply if you are underemployed but looking to branch into a new career path.Sometimes a lateral move is all that you are qualified for. Are the expectations the same as if you were starting fresh from school?

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