Fast Company recently published a Carla-penned article called “How To Position Yourself To Climb The Ladder At Work”

Read an excerpt here and head over to Fast Company for the full article:

I can’t count the number of people who have told me they took a job with a company thinking, “Once I get in, I can work my way around to getting the position of responsibility and authority that I really want.” But despite performing very well, many have been sorely disappointed.

The fact is, the position they took “just to get a foot in the door” was not on a trajectory to a higher-profile revenue-generating role (often referred to as a line position).

All companies have a path that leads to the most senior-level positions in the organization. The path can be formal (e.g., all the leaders of a particular auto company come from the finance department, or every C‑suite-level officer in a certain consumer products company has had responsibility for brand management of a revitalized brand). Or the path can be informal, where it is generally understood that people who rise to the top in an organization have had a particular experience set (for example, at least one international assignment).

Not understanding an organization’s precedents may leave you frustrated when you try to make a move. Assuming that you have the ability to do the job, your disappointment will only be a function of the organization’s inability “to see” someone in your position in the job you want because this kind of transfer hasn’t taken place in the past.