So you want to succeed in business, do you? You’ve got your eyes set on that corner office, with all the perks and responsibilities of that arrangement. That pretty much sums it up, correct?
A desire for professional success is a strong motivating factor for many people, but motivation alone is not enough to get far in business. You’ll need to use that motivation to climb the corporate ladder – rung by rung – until that corner office and golden parachute are finally yours.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at six useful steps for going far in business:
Intern at a Fortune 500 company
It might sound unfeasible at first glance, but landing an internship at a Fortune 500 company is more attainable than most people think. Chances are there’s at least one Fortune 500 company with headquarters close to where you live. For example, St. Louis is a mid-sized city in the middle of “fly-over country,” yet it’s home to seven Fortune 500 companies, including Centene, Emerson Electric, and Edward Jones. An internship at a Fortune 500 company will give you a front-row seat to the inside baseball that drives the most successful organizations in the world, making it a desirable experience for anyone determined to go far in business.
Earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration
Most of us are familiar with stories of successful CEOs who never graduated from college. While it’s possible to get far in business without a degree, it’s not easy, nor is it advised. The modern business landscape has gotten too complex and technological for the average individual to stand a chance without a thorough education. With this in mind, it’s essential for aspiring business executives to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Start networking as soon as possible
It’s never too early to start networking. Your college internship is a good place to begin, followed by staying in touch with your fellow students after graduation. From there, consider attending conferences, expos, and trade shows in order to meet and greet like-minded individuals and those who hold the keys to the kingdom. Make networking a habit you maintain for the duration of your professional life; you never know when the opportunity of a lifetime will present itself, but chances are networking will play a role.
Earn a doctorate degree in business administration
The most ambitious business professionals will land a job within a few months of earning their bachelor’s degree. They will hand their lives over to the company they work for in hopes of being rewarded for their hard work. That makes it seemingly impossible to find the time needed for graduate school. That’s where online education comes into play. It’s possible to earn a Doctor of Business Administration online in as little as three years. While it’s still a daunting task – especially if you’re working full-time – online DBA programs allow busy professionals to enhance their understanding of business leadership and put them one step closer to that corner office they’ve been eyeing.
Develop an astute understanding of risk versus reward
Business success comes down to risk versus reward. The better you are at assessing the relationship between the two within the framework of a particular opportunity, the more likely you’ll make the right choice. That’s the essence of executive decision-making. As a result, the more you prove your acumen regarding risk versus reward, the more likely you’ll be considered a top candidate for executive leadership opportunities.
Treat others as you want to be treated
There’s a perception that success in business is tied to cutthroat practices in order to get ahead. While backstabbing and conniving behavior may grant you short-term benefits, such toxic practices will likely come back to haunt you in the form of a tarnished and untrustworthy reputation. With this in mind, it’s essential for aspiring executives to follow the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. That guiding light will get you farther than giving in to the dark side.
Are you determined to go far in business? If so, you’ve got your work cut out for you. With that said, if you do the right things and make the right moves, it’s only a matter of time before that corner office is finally yours. Good luck!
AUTHOR: Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys writing about business, finance, health, and travel.