Five Ways To Ignite Your Career
You're good. Now get great with these head-hunter-approved strategies.
By Anne Fisher

(FORTUNE Magazine) - 1 Go global. International operations aren't a backwater--they're a way to prove you get it. "You don't have to go live in Bangalore for three years," says Brian Sullivan of executive recruiters Christian & Timbers. But you "need more than just superficial knowledge. Get involved with customers, manufacturing technologies, and employees in different cultures."

2 Embrace Sarbanes-Oxley. If you haven't already, take a course or two on Sarbox and its myriad implications. (The American Management Association, trade groups and most colleges offer them.) Says exec coach Bill Morin: "If you want to get ahead, you have to talk intelligently about this stuff."

3 Stay squeaky clean. Ever buffed up your sales numbers? Expense reports? Don't! "The background checks employers want us to do now are unbelievably detailed and go back decades. It's as if we were looking for a new Supreme Court justice," says Gerry Roche, Heidrick & Struggles' CEO maker.

4 Get on the board's radar. "Figure out who is driving revenues and profits in various business units, and get close to them," says Sullivan. "Once you become known outside your area, the board will hear about it and begin to see you as someone who can handle more than what's on your plate right now."

5 Manage down. SpencerStuart star Tom Neff says managers on the verge need to have the "common touch" and be a "team leader rather than a drill sergeant." When your people shine, you shine. Top of page