So, you’ve worked hard, you’ve climbed the ladder, and now you’re looking for that next step in your retail career. However, when it comes to executive positions in any sector, there really aren’t many roles available. The higher you climb, the less space there is, and so you need to ensure you stand out against other people who are vying for the same job.

It’s tough, it can be cutthroat, but there are steps you can take to shine that little bit brighter.

So, what can you do to ensure you are top of the pile? How can you land that dream job that you consider to be your destiny? If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you’ll be there in no time.

1. Understand the business

The first step for any aspiring retail executives out there is to conduct research – and lots of it. Get to know every inch of the business you are applying to be a part of, even if the details seem initially to be unnecessary. You need to showcase that you truly care, and that you’re willing to take the time to understand the nitty-gritty. You never know when a piece of information will pay dividends, so go above and beyond to learn. This will also give you a solid idea of what you can add to the company, where it is currently failing, where it is succeeding, and how you can add genuine value.

2. Show your vision

Once you know the company inside and out you can come up with relevant ideas, solutions and concepts that could help to drive the company forward. Retail businesses want to make money and keep people coming back, and if you can come up with means and way of doing this, they’ll be obliged to listen and take you seriously. Think about how you can make current work processes better, where things could be streamlined, and where investment is required. Don’t be afraid to show ambition.

3. Shine the spotlight on yourself

You can have all the good ideas in the world, but if your potential future colleagues don’t like you, then it’s unlikely you’ll land the role. Don’t try and invent the character you think they want to see – be yourself, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through, and try to add a degree of informality to what is, undoubtedly, a formal situation.

4. Talk and network

Do you know other people who work in the organisation already? Are there events you could go to? Are there conferences you could spend time at that might have delegates and other retail executives that you should be interacting with? These events might not come to anything in that regard – you could end up meeting nobody, for example – but it’s unlikely you’ll ever come away from an event having learned nothing. Every day is a school day!