Want to GROW in the corporate world?

You might have seen a few young executives in the C-Suite who made it to the top within 8 to 10 years after starting their career.

Ever wondered how they were able to get there and are you aspiring to be one of them?

If you are a young professional who made a cut in to the corporate world and aspiring to craft your career, this post is for you!!

Do you know what it takes to stand out from the crowd and grow yourself?

Based on our experience observing many leaders who have carved out excellent career trajectory for themselves in the industry, here are a few tips that will help you climb the corporate ladder.

Be flexible: Sense of flexibility is important for young professionals — do not typecast yourself for a particular technology — being rigid to explore new challenges will hinder the growth prospects

If you are doing just your job, it means you are not doing a good job. You need to flex your muscles and seek more work which others are not willing to take up.

· Look for stretch assignments, try to identify opportunities that are not explicitly called for. You may want to grab them before anyone else does by taking initiatives.

Be known: · Be part of CSR initiatives in your organization or engagement team that works closely with HR organization. One advantage of doing these things is that you will expand your network within the organization and get noticed. Creating visibility for yourself among senior leadership across the organization will have a greater impact on your career. Be known

· Make yourself the linchpin in your organization by contributing to key initiatives which may or may not be part of your day job. Senior leaders are always looking for people who can help them in achieving organizational goals.

Technology Skills:

Current technology trends like Data Science, Artificial intelligence(AI) & Machine Learning (ML) — if used correctly will change the lives for better. Explore opportunities to leverage latest technologies for solving your day-to-day business problems.

· Computer vision & Artificial neural networks — understanding how are they powering the autonomous cars market etc.

· Anything related to data — data modelling & visualization tools (Explore PowerBI, QlikView, BusinessObjects, Tableau, SAS etc.). Whenver you are learning any tool or technology always make an attempt to study the competitive tools and alternatives in that specific domain.

· Cloud — Public, private cloud etc. Think about getting AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) certification

· Blockchain Technology — will be a game changer

· Quantum computing and Edge computing can be explored

· How Drone technology coupled with AI can solve real world problems not just spraying insecticides on crops. There are many other complex problems to solve.

· IT industry is among the most dynamic domains in the world where new technologies are created every 3 to 12 months. Quickly master any work that keeps you relevant in the industry.

E.g., If you came across a new technology, try to develop a Proof of concept and demonstrate it to your leadership as well as peers. Conducting technical knowledge sharing sessions within your organization and inviting coworkers from within your sub teams and other working groups will also elevate your knowledge further.

Working on latest technologies will open up many avenues for taking bigger and challenging jobs in your career. If at all your organization doesn’t support your exploration on new technologies, at least try to work on open source projects on a platform like Github.

One needs to be Up-to-date with the technology whether or not you are working on that technology, else you will become obsolete

Subscribe to blogs, follow companies, pioneers, thought leaders on twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit etc. to keep you in the know.

If your company runs hackathon competitions, ensure you participate. Else you may want to explore below sites to find opportunities:



It’s not about winning those hackathons but participation is the key!

Remember tools & technology change very frequently in the market. Try to get diversified exposure, get hands-on experience and most importantly share your learnings with fellow team members.

People skills:

Always maintain good relations with everyone you work with, be it higher ups (your bosses, super bosses, their bosses etc. or some one from cross functional team). Few people maintain good relationship with their own team but make no attempt to connecting with others. Maintaining great energy levels and displaying positive attitude coupled with passion will attract people around you.

Every stakeholder is equally important in the organization

If you are fortunate to work with your customers directly, try to elevate customer experience by quickly solving the problems and always being empathetic towards problems faced by customers. Being customer centric will help you win their loyalty and they’d love to work with you. I have seen many instances where business people want to work with a specific team member only as he/she might have created great customer experience to them

Nurture your relations and build life long partnership with everyone. It is easier said than done. However, it is not such a difficult task to achieve. By avoiding gossips and office politics, you can create a mark for yourself.

“Also, work with everyone as if you are going to associate with them throughout your career”

Open/candid conversations about your working style, being prompt in responding to someone, being adaptable and sensible to customer needs and setting the right expectations will help you very much in fostering long term relationship with everyone in your organization.

Also, seeking continuous feedback and working on maximizing your strengths as well as minimizing your weaknesses will take you a long way!

While you seek continuous feedback from someone, offer them to see if they want your feedback. IF so, provide them constructive feedback which will help them grow.

Find a mentor & mentee:

As a young professional it is very important to find a mentor for yourself preferably from outside your team to avoid biased conversation and get a 3rd eye perspective. Right mentor will act as a sounding board and share tips based on their experiences, which will help you in avoiding mistakes which they might have done. You don’t have to burn your hands for the same reason which others might have already burnt. Learn from other mistakes so that you don’t make the same mistake again. Openness and honesty during your conversations with mentors will be very useful. Seek assignments/activities from your mentor and keep them abreast on the status of actions to be taken by you.

By being passionate about your self-development and working on the goals effectively will generate further interest within your mentor and they will be willing to share more and more tips with you.

If you have completed minimum 6 months in your job and someone joins as a fresher or intern, try to mentor them and provide required guidance/assistance.

Nature always does positive things to people that contribute selflessly. Even a small piece of useful advice given to your mentee will help them in a positive way

Make sure that you maintain confidentiality on the conversations that you have with your mentor or mentee to build trust

Pursue Hobbies/Passion etc.:

· If you can’t keep the child in you alive, then there is no point in growing up.

· We should work to have a life… do not LIVE to work

· Live a contentful and eventful life. Keep yourself busy during the weekends, pursue a hobby which will elevate your exposure.

· Try different things: explore adventure sports, they teach you a lot of stuff.

· Travel to as many places as possible, enjoy and try new experiences — one should know how to switch on and switch off the work. Work-life balance is very important.

· Play a sport regularly as the mental wellbeing depends on the physical well being.

· Hobbies are a Stress buster. Sustainable hobby will give a good company during bad times

Do not wait for a happiness moment or situation to make happy, make yourself happy

If you have read till this extent, kudos to your passion about growing yourself.

Have you found this post useful? If so, please share with your friends/colleagues or those who can benefit from this.

Also, if you have any tips or questions, please share/post in the comments section.

If you are a seasoned professional, please share the tips that worked for you while planning your careers, so that freshers and young professionals can benefit from it.

This blog post has a few excerpts from The Guiding Voice podcast Episode 2 ft. SriHarsha Vadlamani, Technical Product Manager with GE

We’d love your feedback as it will help us get better. Please provide your feedback in the comments or email us theguidingvoice4u@gmail.com



PS: What got you here, won’t get you there…!

There is a best-selling book by this name authored by Marshal Goldsmith. Author has shared numerous useful tips that will help the young and middle level professionals to reach the top.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.




Seasoned IT executives with over 40 years of cumulative IT industry experience on a mission to shape the careers and lives of millions across the globe

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