Try to understand the whole business, not just your own job. Understand the industry, the competition, where the market is headed and how your company is currently positioned. Then how does your department and your job fit into the overall picture. Spend time with those below you and those above you. Understand the flow within your department.
Understand how other departments within the company fit in the overall company picture and how together the company moves forward.
Develop friendships with people from other departments, help out other departments if you can – consider it an investment in your future.
Participate in company sponsored volunteer activity. In addition to doing your duty, it helps you establish relationships with people from other departments and in many cases people from other companies. Who knows, there may be an opportunity in another company – they need someone to lead one of their departments and somebody there knows you and the good work you do.
Remember the work that you do is an investment in your future, just like your education was. If your attitude is ‘I do what I am paid for’, then your progress will be slow and you probably won’t climb high on the corporate ladder. But if you consider your work as an investment and do consistently more than you are paid for, you will go far.