A senior role can mean huge things when it comes to the career progression ladder. And for good reasons too — the pay can be higher, you have more influence and a serious chance to change the company culture, and the fact that you can grow your leadership skills is an advantage too.
However, bagging the role of a senior executive is not easy. You’ll need to think of a strategy to get the job you’ve been dreaming about — because chances are, there are many others vying for the same position as you are.
So let’s dive in and explore all the strategies that will help you land the role of a senior executive.
Determine why you want to advance
It’s a good thing to want to advance. But do you think it makes sense to want to land a role only for the sake of landing that role? It won’t set you up for long-term success. For there to be a strategy, there needs to be a motive.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re thinking of advancing:
- Is this the right career move for me?
- Do I believe I can manage the expectations of the job, if given the opportunity to take on the position?
- Am I being influenced to want it or do I really want the job?
- What will my future look like if I take up this opportunity?
- Will the team benefit from having me in a senior position?
- Can I advocate for a positive change in the company?
Of course, you can have motives aside from the ones mentioned above. But make sure that they’re worth it to make a shift in your career (and as an extension, in your life).
Position yourself in the right role
There’s a famous Albert Einstein quote we’ve all heard of — ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’
The quote especially rings true when it comes to the context of positioning yourself for the right role. We all have certain skills, but if you use your best skills to apply yourself to the wrong job, you’re unlikely to excel.
If you have the options, think of a career progression move that makes the best sense for you, based on your skills, experiences and abilities. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and see how you can make the most of your best skills and improve your worst to land the job of your dreams.
Cultivate your personal brand
Whether you like it or not, you have a personal brand. Everyone does. Think of a movie character, or a colleague, or a friend, and think of all the attributes you associate them with. Those attributes make their personal brand.
Perhaps the best part of having a personal brand is that people in your network can vouch for you and help you land a new role.
Here are a few ways through which you can build your personal brand:
Embrace a positive attitude
Everyone loves someone who just ‘gets’ them. You don’t need to be everyone’s friend, but you can be empathic and understanding. Treating people with respect and compassion goes a long way. And more likely than not, these personal connections are what’s going to keep you in people’s minds in the long run.
Show your accomplishments
The thing about senior roles is that you have to show your worth before you can even ask for the job. So, if you flaunt your accomplishments to show recruiters that you’re more than worthy of bagging the job, chances are they’ll consider offering it to you.
Network with peers
Never underestimate the power of your network. You learn from them, you can ask them for advice, and you grow with them. Your network is your biggest asset, so use it to get a chance at the right roles, at the right time.
Invest in education
It’s a sad reality that almost every senior executive needs to have some sort of formal education to be considered for the role. So, aside from honing in on your technical skills, also consider investing in your education, either through degrees, or seminars, or certifications.
Deliver results consistently
Senior level executives need to walk the walk before they can talk the talk. So, for that reason alone, any organisation will look at promoting candidates who have achieved the set targets and delivered great results consistently.
You need to show your hiring manager that having you at a senior level position would be worth it because you believe in the success of the company, you can inspire others with your work ethic, and you will undoubtedly be a value-add for all stakeholders.
All of these things combined can make you a recruiter’s dream and make them want to snap you up.
Develop the traits of a leader
Just like, in football, the job of a midfielder is to make sure that other players score, the job of a leader in an organisation is to make sure that their team members can achieve maximum goals. To be noticed for a senior role, you'll need to become a team player, and, more importantly, a leader who encourages growth in others.
Qualities like empathy, good communication skills, business acumen, people skills, humility, and vision should be developed. The goal here is to show the organisation that your vision aligns with their vision. And only someone whose vision aligns with that of the senior management is grabbed for managerial and senior roles.
Take on more responsibility
Taking on more responsibility goes hand in hand with the senior-level roles. However, taking on more responsibilities in your current role signifies two things:
- You’ve mastered all aspects of your current role and have proven you can take on additional responsibilities (as well as the management of others)
- You have the ability to handle complex tasks and so a senior role would be appropriate
This will not only mark you as an expert in your field, but will be appreciated by both managers and colleagues.
Ask how can you advance
Perhaps the best way of letting your employer know that you’re ready for a senior level position is to tell them that you’re ready for a senior level position. You’ll make a much more promising case if you can point to all the achievements you’ve attained in your current role.
From there, you can build a conversation around how you might advance in your career and what you can do to get to the next step.
This is especially helpful because different companies look for different things when it comes to promoting within their organisation. It also helps if you have a great relationship with your boss, as they can guide you into getting that role more effectively. Plus, who doesn’t love tips and tricks to get to the managerial level position from the people who’ve achieved it themselves?
Think of a multi-channel approach
Although these strategies by themselves can do wonders, your safest bet is to still go forward with a multichannel approach. For example, begin investing in your education, start talking to your boss, and deliver above expectations, all at the same time. You’ll end up getting noticed quicker, compared to sticking with a single strategy.
If you’re an employer looking for the right time to promote your employees, we’ve got a career framework for you that measures your team’s growth and guides you in giving promotions and feedback.