Career ladders are gateways to opportunity.
Every company has different career opportunities- whether it means moving up or making lateral transfers.
Understanding what your next move might be at a company is critical to your career.
So knowing what is available can help you develop a targeted plan on whether you will stay at the company with a specific career move in mind, or if it is time to look beyond your current employer.
Assessing the landscape to know what your company’s career ladder puts you within reach of your desired targets means that you need to start paying attention to your peers.
First, many companies provide an organization chart when you are getting on-boarded just so know you the reporting structure and overall hierarchy of the business.
So take the time to look at this and understand what the company involves and what potential pathways might be open to you.
Then, as you spend time at the business, build connections to your co-workers and if possible, gently probe them about what their job involves so you can get a better hang of what the expectations, demands, and skills are that are required to do this kind of work.
Think of these conversations as your career ladder roadmap.
This roadmap helps you understand the connectivity between your work and theirs, and can hlp you better understand the skills and expertise needed to transition to the next level or over to a few function area.
The more you know about the types of opportunities available to you, then you can decide where your priorities are in terms of how you fill in your own skills and experience.
Sometimes, just simply asking to learn more about what someone does and even taking on stretch assignments that expand you skill sets can help you better assess the career ladder at your current company.
Most people don’t mind informational interviews to share some of their insights about their work. By sharing information about their jobs, you can gain a better sense of what the career ladder holds at the company.