I’ve spent the last 15 years of my career in the marketing and advertising industry working for a variety of companies, from small agencies to Fortune 500 brands. I’ve also spent the past 7 years working as an adjunct professor, teaching college students about marketing, advertising, branding, and social media.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with countless students and young professionals, offering career advice and guidance. One of the most common questions I get asked is “what advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career?” In this article, I’m going to share some of the best pieces of advice I’ve given to my students and younger employees over the years.

1. Be a Team Player

It’s a tale as old as time, but it’s true: no one likes a brown-noser. If you’re sucking up to your boss in hopes of getting a promotion, you’re likely not going to get very far. In fact, it could have the opposite effect.

Instead, focus on building relationships with everyone. You never know who will be in a position to promote you. And, if you’re a team player and can get along with everyone, you’re more likely to be trusted with bigger projects and responsibilities, which can help you advance your career.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks

If you want to progress in your career, you have to be willing to take risks. This can mean different things to different people. For some, it may look like quitting your job and starting your own business. For others, it may look like taking on a new project that is outside of your comfort zone.

Taking risks is a key part of growing in your career. If you never take risks, you will never know what you are capable of. While it may be scary, it is important to take the leap and trust that you will land on your feet.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for What You Want

Even if you’re not sure what your next step is, it’s important to communicate your goals with your manager. They can’t help you advance if they don’t know what you’re looking for.

This is also important when it comes to salary. If you’re doing the work of someone at a higher level, you should be compensated as such. Do your research and come to your manager with examples of what you should be making.

If they’re not able to give you a raise, you can ask if there’s a possibility to revisit the conversation in six months. If you’re not happy with their answer, it might be time to start looking for a new job.

4. Network

It’s a tale as old as time: A friend of a friend tells you about an amazing job opportunity, and you get your foot in the door. In fact, 70% of people in the workforce were hired at a company where they had a connection.

You can network in person at industry events or seminars, or you can network online by following people in your field on social media, like LinkedIn. You should also make sure you’re connecting with your coworkers, both past and present, to grow your professional circle.

Networking is a great way to learn about new opportunities, but it’s also a way to learn from other professionals, share your own knowledge, and build relationships that can help you grow in your career.


Networking is a critical part of any career advancement plan. This doesn’t mean you should be constantly looking for your next job, but you should be building relationships with other professionals in your industry. This can help you stay in the know about job opportunities and other career advancement possibilities.

Networking also helps you build your personal brand. By connecting with other professionals, you can show them what you bring to the table and how you can help them. This can help you get noticed and build a positive reputation in your industry.


Networking is one of the most important things you can do to advance in your career. And we don’t just mean networking when you’re looking for a new job. You should always be working to grow your professional network, whether you’re happy in your current role or on the hunt for something new.

There are so many ways to network, and it’s important to find what works best for you. You can attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with people in your field on LinkedIn. You should also take advantage of any networking opportunities that come up in your current job, such as meeting with clients or attending company events.

By building a strong network, you can learn about new job opportunities, get advice from people who have been in your shoes, and even find mentors who can help you take the next step in your career.

5. Be Willing to Learn

No matter how much experience you have, there is always more to learn. Employers are looking for candidates who are willing to grow and improve. You can show your willingness to learn by taking online courses, attending industry events, and completing certifications.

Not only will this make you a better candidate for a promotion, but it will also make you a more valuable employee in general.

The Bottom Line

Climbing the corporate ladder is a journey. It’s not a journey that everyone wants to embark on, and that’s okay. Some people are more than happy to stay in their current position, and if that’s you, then keep doing what makes you happy.

But if you’re someone who has their sights set on climbing the ladder, then the most important thing to remember is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s going to take time, hard work, and dedication to get to where you want to be. There are no shortcuts to success, but with the right strategies, you can make the journey a little easier.


Climbing the ladder is not easy, but it is possible. You need to be determined and always be working towards your goals. With hard work, you can get to the career position that you have always dreamed of.