September 2019, by Klara Proner
4-minute read

5 signs you’re ready to move up the corporate ladder—or not

In theory, moving up the corporate ladder sounds great. More influence, more responsibility, more money—what’s not to like? But before you put in for that big promotion, ask yourself whether it’s really the right move for you. Here are some factors to consider.

1. You enjoy the challenge of extra responsibility

“Don’t become a manager just for the sake of it—do it because you believe it’s how you can best use your talents.” 


As famous HR expert Peter Parker once remarked, “with great power comes great responsibility.” You can’t have one without the other. 

Are you someone who relishes being given more responsibility? Do you see it as an opportunity, not a burden? Do you actively take part in activities that fall outside the scope of your assigned duties? 

If you answered no, perhaps you should think twice about management.

“I see a lot of candidates who are very junior and say they want to be managers without realizing what that entails,“ says Klara Proner, Hubble’s Recruitment Director, Business Services. “It’s not enough to simply be good at your current job. Hubble looks for people who proactively seek out challenges and take ownership of extra responsibilities. This suggests they are ready to take that next step.”


2. You have strong organizational skills

“Organization ability is critical for managers. The more strategic a position is, the more it matters.”


The further up the ladder you go, the more likely you are to be dealing with budgets, reporting and the like. It’s not for everyone.

“If you hate reporting or being accountable, the higher you go within the company, the more miserable you’re likely to be.” 


3. Others respond to your leadership

“Everyone thinks they have leadership qualities—but if no one else agrees they have those qualities, it’s probably not a good idea to become a manager.”


How do you know if you have leadership ability? Don’t bother asking others—even if they don’t think you’re cut out to be a leader, they’ll probably say “yes” to be polite. 

Klara’s advice: Observe how your colleagues or clients respond to you. If they come to you for solutions or advice, that’s a good sign. It suggests you’re viewed as an expert and someone who can be counted on.

4. You’re ready to travel and/or move

“You can grow within an organization without becoming a manager. My number one piece of advice is: take every opportunity and learn from it.”


National- and director-level roles often involve frequent travel. Are you willing and able to travel a lot for the sake of your job? If it’s not a viable option, consider the other opportunities available to you and be realistic.

Moving to the city where your company’s head office is located may also be necessary if you want to advance up the corporate ladder.

If you’re happy where you are, it doesn’t mean you have to stagnate professionally, as Klara is quick to point out. 

“The key is to always deliver the best no matter the circumstances. I’ve grown in every role I’ve had, even the ones I didn’t enjoy, which taught me what I didn’t want professionally, which can be just as important as knowing what you want. Even if the company or position is not ideal, you’re still growing and acquiring tools for your briefcase.”


5. You’ve studied the career paths of others

“First-hand experience with a mentor is the best way to gain the skills and knowledge you need to develop.”


Another essential piece of advice Klara offers prospective managers is “find a mentor.”

“My mentor is a big reason why I’ve been successful in my career. Just having an idea of what you need to do and how you need to do it—like, say, getting a master’s in finance—is huge.”


Since every sector is different, she recommends shadowing somebody who has gone through career transitions in your industry.  It could be a senior colleague at your company, a fellow member of a professional association, a family member or a friend. Whoever it is, the key is simply to learn from them with no ulterior motive.

If you’re struggling to figure out the right career path for you, our FlairTech psychometric tests can help. This is a selection of online assessments that will assist you in pinpointing where your strengths lie and guide you toward the right role, employer and industry by providing a detailed profile of your aptitudes and tendencies. 

For a list of Hubble’s available positions, click here.


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