We all know the old script: join a company, work hard, move up the ladder. But it’s been decades since that was a reliable path, and not just because of layoffs or outsourcing or robots.
These days, the culprit preventing many professionals from identifying a clear career path at their company is simply that one no longer exists. Given that successful companies must often pivot to adapt to changes in the marketplace, and the half-life of many skills is now estimated to be five years or less, companies often have no idea what staffing needs they’ll have in a few years’ time or who would be qualified to fill them.
As Cathy Benko and Molly Anderson predicted in their 2010 book, we’ve gone from a corporate ladder to a Corporate Lattice, in which professionals’ career progress may only sometimes be linear — and often, may instead appear diagonal or horizontal. Guidance from companies on how to move forward in this environment is often minimal, because they just aren’t sure.
Increasingly, they’re relying on individual professionals to take more active control of their careers — a topic I’m frequently called in to speak about for corporate audiences. Here are four strategies professionals can follow to successfully navigate the new terrain.
Source: Harvard Business Review