How Do You Become a CEO? Three Career Pathways

by / ⠀Career Advice Entrepreneurship / August 18, 2022

Who doesn’t want to reach the top of the ladder? Indeed, many people dream of becoming a CEO. It’s the ultimate professional milestone and career pathway that people want to achieve. However, the journey to the top is seldom easy.

Very few people realize that there are actually more than one ways to reach your destination and become a CEO. Yes, you don’t always have to follow the traditional career pathways to attain the position you always wanted.

What Does it Take to Become a CEO?

three pathways to CEO

Before we talk about how to reach the CEO position, it’s crucial to talk a bit about what it takes to actually be a force to reckon with. What qualities should you have for people to consider you a CEO who can be trusted to run an organization smoothly?

Operational Skills

It’s not only financial acumen that matters when you are CEO. Your operational skills are just as critical. You must have the ability to oversee smooth operations. A person must have a reputation for exhibiting persistence even in the face of disruptions to be the boss. Only an action-oriented person can handle this position.

A Suitable Fit

It’s vital for an organization that its CEO fits into the company’s future perfectly. A person who isn’t adaptable to changing situations can never be suited for this position. You need to have exceptional management skills if you want to lead a company.

Putting the Company’s Interests Ahead

A CEO always has to think about the company’s future and profits. He must understand the company goals and work towards them with full zeal and enthusiasm.

Motivational and Communication Skills

It can be challenging to share constructive criticism with your employees when you are a CEO. But it’s mandatory for the company’s interest. This is where motivational and communication skills come into the picture.

The Career Pathways for Becoming a CEO You Can Consider

how do you become a CEO

By now, you understand what it takes to be a CEO. It’s now time to elaborate more on the pathways you can select to make this journey.

Career Pathway No. 1: Working Your Way

This one’s a traditional route that most people think they have to cover to reach the esteemed position. It’s actually pretty straightforward. You have to ensure you select the right subjects in high school. Yes, the preparation to become a CEO begins in high school.

You should endeavor to get leadership positions, actively participate in extracurricular things and think out of the box. Also, if you take some business or management-related classes, you are definitely on the right path.

After completing high school, you have to get an undergraduate degree and get an MBA. This is the educational preparation to reach the top position. You then step into the professional world. Once you start working in your field, you have to focus on building connections. Networking is critical. At the same time, you have to ensure you work hard and get promoted.

You have to put your best foot forward in everything you do, from simple tasks to business plans and everything else. Your goal is to be noticed. You have to prove your worth and show your superiors how your presence is invaluable to the company.

Career Pathway No.2: Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

It’s not always necessary that you confine yourself to a position or niche that you are comfortable with. A CEO is something with a broader vision.

Another route to becoming a CEO is to grab the right opportunity when it comes along. Let’s say you are employed in a company with a desk job. However, you are pushed by your superiors to break the pattern and deal with potential customers.

Naturally, you will be hesitant since this isn’t something you were trained to do. However, instead of backing down, you have to rise to the occasion. You have to use your skills in the best possible way in your new role too. And this is what can help you bypass a lot of steps and become a CEO sooner than anticipated.

You have to make your company board members realize that no matter how challenging the situation is, you have the ability to manage it. If you want to reach the top, you need broader experience and not just in your capacity but across all functions.

Career Pathway No. 3: Establish Your Own Company

Isn’t that what Jeff Bezos did? Of course, not everyone can hope to achieve the same level of success as Bezos, but it’s a place to start. You don’t always need a degree or experience to become a CEO. Certainly, if you have the business acumen and the zeal to make your ideas a reality, there’s no reason to wait.

So, work on your own business idea, collect funds and step into the professional world. It might take some time, but eventually, with the right strategy and skills, you can get your business up and about. And become a CEO of a successful organization!

Make Your Own Path!

how to become a CEO 3 pathways gears

The thing is, CEOs are visionaries. They are leaders. If you want to reach this position, you have to push boundaries. So, keep your eyes on the next step always, and you will get the success you have been dreaming about.

About The Author


Tauseeq Magsi has been a writing geek for the past six years. He has written about Tech, Finance, Leadership, Business, and more. He loves helping others achieve their goals, and he hopes to continue helping people through his writing for many years to come. In addition to writing, Tauseeq Magsi loves to travel and learn new things.