Moving On Up

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Q: I’m at a point in my life where I’m trying to figure out where I want to go, what I want to do, and what I want to become. I’m interested in administration, but I just want that to be a base for me. What I would really want, I think, is to “move up” in a company. How rare is that? How likely is that?
— M. Bliss, Vernon, British Columbia

A: To move up in a company after starting from an administrative or entry-level position is not rare at all, generally speaking. The question is, how likely is it for you? The answer will be determined not by what you want (although goal-setting is clearly important), but by what you have to offer and whether it is enough to get you where you want to be.

Everybody wants to be at the top–until they find out what they have to do to get there. Are you prepared to exchange a 9-to-5 mindset for a whatever-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done attitude? Are you willing to constantly update your skills, gaining new ones as old ones (such as your administrative abilities) become obsolete? Are you ready to be accountable for your own performance, as well as the performance of those who will eventually report to you? In other words, it’s not just about knowing what you want out of it. It’s also about knowing what you are willing to put into it. And that’s a question only you can answer.

I recommend that you read Please Don’t Just Do What I Tell You! Do What Needs To Be Done: Every Employee’s Guide To Making Work More Rewarding by Bob Nelson (Hyperion, $17.95).