How to Become a Business Executive

Become a Business Executive
Become a Business Executive (Image:

You dream of becoming a business executive but are unsure of the exact path to reach your goal. Competition to reach the upper echelon of the business world is fierce, so you will need to know how to stand out and be noticed by your company's decision makers. A very disciplined work ethic and the right education are critical to your success, but there are a number of other directives you can utilize to realize your goal.

Things You'll Need

  • Bachelor's degree or higher
  • Experience
  • Resume

Consider your current education. The majority of executive business positions require, at minimum, a 4-year bachelor's degree; many positions require a master's degree or above. Business Administration, Public Administration, Political Science, English and Law are majors often held by business executives, however, other college majors do not preclude the opportunity for an individual to rise to the executive level. If you have a bachelor's degree, consider going back to school for an MBA.

Acquire business management experience. If you anticipate getting to the top level of any company or organization, management experience is critical. Business executives have typically spent a number of years managing staff, projects, departments and other components of a company before they are promoted to the top level of an organization. Apply for promotions if presented with the opportunity and let your current supervisor know of your desire to advance within the company.

Develop a strong work ethic. Be prepared to work long hours, travel whenever necessary and volunteer for projects. Take advantage of trainings offered at your organization or on your own. Work hard to become an asset to the company, a person who is "one to watch." Avoid office gossip, work romances and anything else that could be deemed a distraction from your responsibilities. You want to be taken seriously by upper management and you will need to conduct yourself accordingly.

Network. Take advantage of every opportunity to network with management from your company and others. Attend business events, golf tournaments and management seminars and workshops. You may need to consider moving on to another company if advancement within your own organization doesn't seem possible, so networking with executives from other companies may be beneficial.

Find a mentor. A business executive mentor can help pave the way for your own success. They will offer guidance, support and feedback throughout your career. A mentor can be found at your own company, at another business or within your own circle of friends and relatives.

Tips & Warnings

  • Uphold ethical standards in everything you do.
  • Develop good interpersonal skills.
  • Have confidence in your work as well as in yourself.
  • Develop leadership skills on the job and through trainings and workshops.
  • Be fully accountable; don't blame others when things go wrong.
  • Understand the personal life sacrifices you may have to make in order to develop your career.

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