Friday 16 October 2015 12:52 pm

London jobs ladder: How to rise to the top of your career at a young age with the right skills, specialisms and a touch of confidence

London is one of the world’s most competitive cities, so it can be intimidating to consider the amount of people you are up against in your industry.

But you shouldn't let this put you off, and even though the recession has sent some salaries falling, it's still possible rise in your industry at a young age.

Consider the likes of Karren Brady, who was just 23 when she became managing director of Birmingham City Football Club.

Read more: How to make a startup successful: Five lessons from venture capital firm First Round

If you know the steps you need to take and are willing to put in hard work, then there is nothing holding you back. Here are the steps to take on your path to success.

Specialise and stand out

First of all, you need to ensure you stand out against the competition, especially when you’re first making your mark in the industry. It’s about self-belief and understanding what can make you a major player, so reflect on your strengths and how this can help you. You should aim to specialise in one field so that you are recognised for that particular area of specialisation, rather than being seen as a generalist.

Have confidence in your ability

Mentality is one of the key elements to think about, because those who are successful always believe that they can make it. Confidence can be rare to see at a young age so this will make you stand out – you should also ensure that you showcase your best skills as much as possible.

Be ready to bounce back

Of course, it’s natural to have bad days when you don’t feel your career is going in the right direction, but what will make you succeed is knowing how to turn this attitude around. What sets successful people apart from the crowd is their ability to bounce back from hard times. If this is something you can train yourself on early in your career, then you’ll fulfil your ambitions at an early stage.

Don't be afraid to ask questions

Always remember that any good firm will be happy for you to raise your hand to help on tasks, which will help you progress and get your name known at the company. It always amazes me how few new starters realise that this is encouraged in the corporate world, so it’s a great way to set yourself apart from your peers.

Whenever you’re trying to climb the career ladder, it’s always advised that you take a step back to analyse how you come across to others – always ensure you come across as hard working, easy to work with and proactive – if you have any doubts then address these immediately to turn your progress around.

Perfect leadership skills

When rising to the top, something which will really prove your worth is whether you’re a leader or not, and the only way to demonstrate this is to show off your skills in this area. Showing that you’re not afraid to direct others on tasks will make the most important managers in the company notice you, especially since it shows you could be a natural born leader.

If you don’t feel you have the opportunity, express to your line manager that you’d like to be given the chance to manage some tasks – there’s nothing wrong with showing how keen you are to progress and it will make them aware that you’re career-driven.

It might feel overwhelming trying to map your career path, but if you understand the key elements behind success at an early age, then you’ll be well on your way. Focus on how you can demonstrate your potential to others, and train your brain to believe you can rise to the top – this is what all successful business people have in common.

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