Maura Schreier-Fleming published a great post on AllBusiness.com today called Moving On Up: Surviving and Thriving in Corporate America. In her post, Maura discusses the first key to success in Corporate America in order to climb the corporate ladder is not being the best or hardest worker but being the most connected or politically savvy worker.
I have to agree with Maura. Time and again during my former life in Corporate America I watched less qualified and less deserving people get promoted while the hardest and most loyal workers were overlooked. Maura summed the phenomenon up perfectly when she wrote, “I think the easiest way to thrive in business is to have other people be your champion.” I think Maura is absolutely right.
A huge part of success in Corporate America (and even in small business) is networking (or politicking). Maura states in her post that workers can’t always rely on their bosses to be their champions. Instead, employees have to make a concerted effort to get the word out about who they are and what they do. Self promotion is critical to your success in the corporate world.
I remember one of my former colleagues telling me the key to longevity is to not align yourself with anyone because corporations are known for their everchanging realignments. Not unlike Heidi Klum’s famous line on Project Runway, “One day you’re in and the next you’re out.” The same holds true in Corporate America. It’s just one more form of politicking that goes on as employees try to navigate their way up the corporate ladder.
What’s the lesson to learn here? Don’t be discouraged if your boss doesn’t praise your work and champion your dedication and efforts. Instead, become your own brand champion. Get involved in your company and get the word out about who you are and what you can do for the company.
Do you have any other tips for women trying to move up in the corporate world?