Can ladder climbers get ahead without working long hours? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Can ladder climbers get ahead without working long hours?

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Marie's Question: “Is it possible to get ahead without working 60-plus hours every week and constantly sucking up to executives? This seems to be the norm at my company, and it’s very frustrating.”  —Unhappy Gen-X'er

Is it possible?  Sure. In your company?  Maybe not. Let’s consider what it really takes to move up the corporate ladder:

•    Here’s a little secret that no one ever tells you: Decisions about promotions and other opportunities are not based solely on the quality of your work. Management is actually assessing the value of your contribution, which includes various other factors.
•    The definition of a high-value contributor varies from company to company. One organization may highlight teamwork, while another values quick decision-making. Success depends as much on your “fit” with the culture as on the results you produce.

•    Based on your description, to get ahead, your company expects ladder climbers to work long hours and pay special attention to executives. To advance, therefore, you will probably have to extend that 40-hour week and spend more time schmoozing with the higher-ups.

If these informal requirements are too distasteful, your best bet may be to find a more compatible workplace, because you cannot single-handedly change the company culture. You will find more Office Coach suggestions for “managing up” at How to Impress Executives.

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