Positioning Yourself for Upward Mobility

Middle Management

Middle managers serve a vital role within any organization, but often desire upward mobility. If you are middle management, you bridge the gap between top administration and the support services staff. Therefore, the responsibility of implementing strategic plans falls on your shoulders, right down to the smallest of details. You enjoy the challenges of working to keep your employees and customers happy and satisfied. Likewise, you may love your job and are happy to carry out these directives. consequently, you see the results firsthand, but eventually, you may want more from your career.

Do you find yourself thinking you have what it takes to accept more responsibility? Do you want to continue your upward climb within the organization? There are not as many top-level positions available as people desiring them. What can you do to make sure those leaders making the decisions about promotions recognize your talents and abilities?

Upward Mobility

Five ways to position yourself for upward mobility …

Practice situational awareness.

This is a key within any organization. So, study the dynamics when key players within upper management interact with one another. Take notes on the different topics, initiatives the players wish they had time to accomplish, etc. File this information away in your brain.  Furthermore, start deliberating ways to help them accomplish their outspoken goals. This keeps you in touch with the inner workings and needs of upper management. Conversely, know what topics to avoid, what topics set them off, and what they consider a waste of time. Listening is key.

Think “big-picture”.

Start asking yourself, “What piece of the organizational puzzle am I contributing today?” Recognize the significance and the role you play in moving the organization forward, the 20,000-foot view. This simple shift in thinking prepares you to interact with upper management.  It puts you in their mindset where the welfare of the overall organization is first and foremost each and every day.

Volunteer for additional responsibility.

Let your supervisor know you crave more responsibility. Volunteer for special projects. Never turn down an opportunity to work with other people in your organization. Every experience gives you opportunity to show your talent. It also widens the circle of people who report to your supervisor about you. You can’t be everywhere all the time. You want others talking about your leadership abilities and how easy you are to work with, even when you are not around.

Declare your goals.

Make an appointment enlighten your supervisor about your end-goal. Ask for their advice on self-improvement to be considered for upper-level responsibilities.

Don’t take constructive criticism personally.

Show upper management you respond positively to constructive criticism. It shows a highly regarded level of professionalism and objectivity among upper management. Show them a level of proactiveness and willingness to create change.


Middle management is incredibly important to all organizations. The above tips can be useful regardless of your ambition. Every organization is different, but most leaders are looking for the same thing when looking for new managers. We want strong, independent, critical thinkers who know how to inspire others and get work done.

A professional coaching package is available if you are interested.