Everyone puts their best in the work they do and hope to be recognized for the hard work and potential.
Then again, there are times when you feel that you’re doing all that you can but you just can’t grow beyond a certain point. You see your counterparts reaching great heights but you’re just stagnant. If you’ve experienced this, then you’ve hit the corporate “ glass ceiling ”. This is when you see your next promotion on a golden pedestal but despite all the efforts, some invisible force has gotten you rooted to the spot you’re in now.
In the past, the glass ceiling effect was limited to women and minorities, who just couldn’t make it to executive positions, despite their potential and efforts. Today, this glass ceiling is something that concerns every employee, and trust us, it’s very real.
There can be different reasons why you’ve hit the glass ceiling. You can either be content with the situation or aim to shatter the barrier and move forward. So, how exactly can someone break the glass ceiling? Here’s what you got to do:
Observe and identify the common expertise and capabilities of the people on the higher levels in the organization. The skillset they possess is closely knitted to the organization’s vision and culture, giving them the success they now enjoy. When the management looks out for potential executives, they will look for certain attributes in the people who can fill the role. Ask yourself if all the required criteria are met.
In order to put yourself and the organization on the same wavelength, you need to set your goals and work towards them. Let the senior management know that you’re expecting a higher-level position and prove that you’re the right candidate for the job. Measure your performance and compete with yourself to bring out the best. Work on the areas you require improvement and be an all-rounder. That is what sets the leaders apart from the rest.
Having a positive relationship with the organization as a whole is important. You can’t expect to be a ruler if your kingdom hates you, right? Connect with people, build your network. The most unexpected person might provide the most valuable information when needed.
You should also build relationships with other people in your organization. Many feel that being in good terms with the higher-ups of the organization is all that’s needed. Wrong! It’s important to have a good network with people in every area and level of the organization. You never know who may be in a position to help you or provide you with valuable information. Support from colleagues is a major requirement to be successful.
A mentor is a golden key to breaking the glass ceiling. You might not be the first one to hit a road block. In many organizations, old ideas, practices, stereotypes and biases are established during the early days. A mentor will help connect you with the right people and the right time. They’re a beacon of inspiration and ideas for professional growth and development
Getting noticed is the way to get ahead. How will one become a top executive if nobody knows their capabilities? The management should be able to differentiate you from the rest of the workforce. Developing your skills and network is the only way to be a potential candidate.
There’s a fine line between stereotyping and discrimination. Be observant. It’s really unfortunate if discrimination is a part of the organization. Every diamond is just a rock, at the beginning. Be aware of the company policies and local laws. If discrimination is what’s stopping you from getting to the top, it’s time you pull up your socks and get justice.
Breaking the barrier isn’t easy but it’s definitely not impossible. Be the best version of yourself and brush up on your skills. Manage every step of your job and hone your skills. Develop skills specifically required for the position you’re aiming for and showcase yourself to help climb the corporate ladder. Get out of the comfort zone and venture into new horizons.