NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Moving up the corporate ladder has historically been more of a slow climb than a sprint, especially since top executives are loath to give up their profitable perches.
The tried and true ways to rise almost never change:
- Improve your skills.
- Broaden your experiences.
- Connect to and build relationships with decision-makers and other professionals who can help you.
- Stand out by working late, building a personal brand within a team culture and planning constantly for the next move.
But the rules of building a great career have actually changed, says Charles Wardell III, president and chief executive at Witt/Kieffer, an Oka Brook, Ill., executive search firm that helps professionals get to the top.
He says the secret is to know what traits really count in a climb and discount the ones that don't.
In Wardell's view, these are the "myths" that really can severely slow your career advancement campaign:
Myth 1: You can "get it all down by age 35." Not really, Wardell says. "Devote years up to age 35 not to furious job movement, but finding out what you are good at -- and how to make a career of it," he advises.
Myth 2: It's all about cash. Money shouldn't drive your career ambition -- and if it does, it won't get you very far. "Few of us will ever be able to make -- or spend -- enough money to compensate for a career or life fundamentally out of sync with our interests and motivations," he says. "Let those be drivers."