When you look at the data, the average amount of time required to get to the VP level is about 20 years.
But that doesn't mean you HAVE to wait 20 years… you can get there faster, if you know what to focus on.
I grew from an IC to a VP in 7 years.
My client grew from an intern to AVP in 8 years.
It took my best friend 11 years to become a C suite executive.
The secret: we had a strategy
Instead of going with the flow and hoping an opportunity would magically appear, we created an intentional roadmap and optimized every step of the way to help us grow.
Here’s how you can beat the odds too.
The strategic path to the executive suite
I spoke to hundreds of high achievers who made it to the executive suite.
These are the most important aspects of career hyper-growth and what you need to do to get to the VP level faster.
1. Where you work is crucial!
Not all companies are created equal. If you want to grow fast, work for a high-growth company.
Fast growing companies offer more opportunities for growth. That means you won’t need to wait for promotion cycles or to stick around long enough to get promoted. You’ll just need to show you can do next level work. One way to do that is to work for a startup over a big corporation
2. Who you work for can make or break your career
Choose to work for a leader who is growing rapidly and you can become their 2nd in command. If your manager levels up every 2 yrs, she'll need a successor. The last thing you want is to be stuck waiting for your manager to retire to get their role. If you work for the wrong company or manager - find a new job that will give you leverage.
3. Have a career strategy
Being strategic about your growth can speed up the process.
Get clear on the requirements for leveling up. If your company doesn’t provide a clear career ladder, talk to people who have the job you want to have. You can also interview people at your company who leveled up & get the real scoop.
Make a plan to gain the experience & expertise you are lacking. Outline what you’ll need to do to close the gap between where you are and where you want to go. Then do the work to get there!
Focus on executive level skills: Leadership and management, critical thinking, decision making, communications.
4. Build a network
People promote people. Hard work will not get you to the Vp level, a great network will.
Identify the most influential stakeholders in your organization and build a relationship with them.
Network with people outside of your organization ALL the time. That’s how you are going to learn about once in a lifetime opportunities.
5. Ask for what you want
This is important! None of the above matters if no one knows about your career goals. Most people I know don’t read minds. You can’t assume they know you want to level up.
Make your intentions clear. Don’t hide your aspirations.
Ask for the opportunity before you are ready. If you wait until you are 100% qualified, you’ll be too late.
The threshold for becoming a VP is debatable. Plant the seed whether you are ready or not. You may just get it.
Beat the odds
You can wait for 20 years, pay your dues, stand in line… Or be more intentional and follow a career strategy to save yourself a decade.
Your career --> Your choice
I believe in you and I’m rooting for you.