Climbing the Corporate Ladder: Advice for the Ambitious Millennial

Climbing the Corporate Ladder: Advice for the Ambitious Millennial

Avantika Monnappa

Last updated December 1, 2016


At the beginning of every year, more and more professionals quit their old jobs and look for new ones. They prepare elaborate new career goals and begin implementing a few changes.

In this article, we will give you the inside secrets, a few tips and tricks, and little snippets of advice that can help millennials successfully climb the corporate ladder.

Still not sure if you’re a millennial?

Well, the earliest proposed birth date for millennials is 1976 and the latest is 2004. 

Millennial Birth Timeline

Millennials have grown up in the technology-based, electronic-filled, and socially networked world. It is the generation that has received the most amount of marketing attention. Born at the time that they were, millennials have been instilled with the mantra “follow your dreams”, and have been told they are special, making them bold, confident and demanding.

Though having this trait is considered positive, many may argue that the confidence of this generation has tilted slightly towards narcissism and entitlement. Most often, they are seen as being slightly more optimistic about the future of the world compared to any other generation – despite the fact that since pre-World War II, they are the first generation that is expected to be less economically successful than their previous generation. 


Millennial Advice

Millennials also seem to be more career driven than any other generation.

Setting and maintaining your goals


Setting your goals

All through our lives, we have always heard the phrase – you need to start setting goals to know exactly where you want to get in life.

However, most millennials live in the here and now. Not many set their goals and work towards them. They believe in living for today.  

Wrong. Very wrong. Setting goals is something that needs to happen now. It is very important. It helps create a roadmap to success – for both personal life and work. Without goals, how do you expect to know which path you need to take and where you intend to go?

Here’s why goals are important, and a few tips and tricks for goal-setting.

They help in keeping you motivated

With goals, your ambition is kept fueled. Everybody has their blue days, when they ask themselves why they are doing the things they are doing. Having goals reminds us of why we took this up and shows us how far we have come.

They provide direction to your personal and work life

No matter what you think, these two go hand in hand. Your personal life determines your work life and your work life will determine the road your personal life is headed on. They complement each other.

They help you track progress

Having goals will help you track or keep a record of how far you have come since you started and where you want to get to next, or what your next step will be.

You can always look back to the things you have achieved. Don’t worry, if there isn’t a dent in your list. Take it as a sign that perhaps you may need to re-think your current strategy.

Make sure that your goals are achievable.

They help you celebrate your achievements

Through your journey, it is necessary for you to enjoy all the little wins as well as the milestones that are building up to your final goal.

Make a point to celebrate your successes by rewarding yourself now and then. Give yourself a little gift, watch a movie, buy a great new sweater, or a special meal out. And include family or friends in your celebration... the more support you get from others, the more motivated you'll feel.

Short-term vs. long-term goals

Compared to long-term goals, short-term goals are far easier to set. With the age we are at now, it is extremely tricky to plan where we will be in the next five to ten years. Keeping the big picture in mind is important. This way, you know that all the short-term goals you are making will lead up to your final success.

Setting your goals

If you are looking for any assistance in setting your goals, you can talk to someone a bit more accomplished than you are, such as your manager. Go prepared, and let them know what it is you want and where you think you want to be.

Not only does it show you're determined and forward looking, but that you are determined and hardworking, but will also tell your boss what exactly you are looking for in the organization which will help when it comes to talks about promotion.

Questions to ask yourself

Be Flexible

Goals are never set in stone. Do not forget that. They will adapt, morph, and change as you grow. This is why it is a good idea to constantly update them.

Tips to keep in mind

Are you one of those millennials looking to climb the ladder quickly? Here are a few things you can do to speed up the process.


Tips to climb the ladder

Make a plan

Most millennials bounce through their career like it is a pinball game. Of course, a lot of diverse experiences can be a good thing, but like they say, “too much is too bad”.  To achieve your full potential, you must have a plan.

And the sooner the better. Sure, be prepared to adjust as you go, but don't wait to set your goals and make a plan.


The more people you know, the better. So don't stop networking once you get a job. Build your network. The more people who know and like you, the better it is for your career.

Work Hard

It is important to remember “the more the better”. Don’t just put in the hours that you are supposed to. Do more. Much more. Work harder and longer than the others on your team.

Treat everything like it’s a priority. Volunteer for all the projects that have a higher visibility. Seek to contribute more, and make yourself the go-to person.

Get to work early, and leave later.

Dream beyond the job description

Don't be limited by your job description. Do whatever's assigned to you, then ask what else you can do... even if it's in another department or project. Help wherever you can, whenever you can, however you can.

Become a resource

Continuously strive to up-skill yourself. You need to stay updated and relevant. Grow your status and credibility within your field, not just in your company. Take up certification courses. Get yourself certified.

Becoming an industry expert is what you should strive for. Study, read, follow all the industry leaders wherever they are active, and attend conferences. Opportunities like these will open up bucket loads of possibilities for advancement and mentoring.

Think and act a level above

Behave like someone in a position above yours. However, do this keeping in mind your current responsibilities. Convey the intent and the confidence of being someone who has the potential for leadership or a promotion.
How do you achieve this?

Pay attention to all those on top. Listen carefully during your conversations with them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learn how they think and respond to things.

Be a team player

Lastly, but most importantly, be a team player. Employers and bosses are closely looking at the way employees work with the rest of the team, as well as the other departments. If you are viewed as someone who is a team player, and someone can work with other teams as well, it is a huge advantage. 

So millennials, we have given you all that you need to know. It is your turn to make your place in the world.

This is the era of the millennials. Work that to your advantage. Take charge!

Get out there and shine. Strive for the best. This is your time. Use it well! 

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About the Author

A project management and digital marketing knowledge manager, Avantika’s area of interest is project design and analysis for digital marketing, data science, and analytics companies. With a degree in journalism, she also covers the latest trends in the industry, and is a passionate writer.


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