Does the Career Ladder Exist Anymore?

By Billy McDiarmid - Sourcing and Recruitment Technology Specialist - Glasgow

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Do you remember the phrase career ladder? Has anyone actually used it recently?

I haven’t heard anyone say it. I'm not sure it actually exists anymore.

The career ladder came to be in the eighties and nineties when management ‘gurus’ developed complex theories about how a company should function. In turn, this created a thick layer of middle management that reduced the steps on the career ladder. These new roles had never been part of any business before.

And when the recession hit, they were never part of a business again. Those at this level were one of the main victims of the crash – well paid, and carrying out a function that was not so different from their subordinates. So when costs needed to be cut, the tasks were reallocated to people who were often told:

“Just be happy that you still have a job!”

Now that the steps have been removed, career progression is often impossible. When it does happen:

So the question is - if are a top performer who wants to progress their career, how do you do this?

Ultimately, career progression is no longer automatic. You need to take control. 


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