Climbing the Corporate Ladder in the New Normal.


A young friend shared with me the other day that they had recently been promoted. Congrats I said.  I shared her story with another friend and she asked me a simple question that made me reflect for a bit.

“Does she have anyone to supervise?”

Probably not I thought.   She is most likely doing the work of her position in addition to fulfilling the responsibility of the person she should be supervising.  She knows the drill. She gets the title which is nice, hopefully a raise but not of the supervisory growth that should be in place.  In today’s world most people would settle for that.  We all have seen things that are worst in the work world of the New Normal.

I got another e mail soon after.  Somebody was giving me an update on a sibling that was doing well and another one that was between contracts.  Between contracts I thought.  How do you climb the corporate ladder if your ladder has no rungs?

I had coffee with another friend this week. They were experiencing some career drift.  Not on the path of personal career satisfaction.  They described their company as a place where everyone had responsibility but no one had authority.  Or was it the other way around where everyone had authority but no responsibility.

I think we have all been in situations like this.  Both scenarios seem to fit the New Normal.

Is climbing the corporate ladder still relevant in the New Normal?  Do Career Paths exist?

Today’s youth is radically independent and personally empowered by all that the internet and social media has to offer these days.

Yet most young people today want a career course and a real plan.  Nobody today or in the past likes to be rudderless.

And how about the youth of today that are underemployed. The last thing they want, is to be on the career path they are on.

So how do you create a successful career path in the New Normal?

In the past there were milestones.  I want to have this title, by this time, when I am this old.  I want to make this much money by the time I’m this age.

Are career rungs still relevant today?  Absolutely. Just not the ones of the past.  You just have to define success in a new way. One of my favorite measures of success is getting a check from somebody who is in their twenties.  It happened a number of times to me last year.

I think you can climb today’s corporate ladder if you are in charge.  There are certain things you can do. Certainly the way you market yourself. The more you do it the more you will rise to the top.

You should focus on creating the rungs that can’t be removed.

Your personal online presence is the first step because it will gain you respect and interaction. If you respect yourself you invest in yourself.  Other people see that clearly today.

Create a personal career plan that you can control and achieve.  Your measures of career success have to be redefined.  Who wants to live in the Old Normal?

In the New Normal you can achieve all your milestones and goals.  The best way to do it is to live for yourself.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook:


Read Are Milllennials the Lost Generation?

Watch Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Get a Job.


6 thoughts on “Climbing the Corporate Ladder in the New Normal.

  1. Hank – Very much enjoyed this posting as it’s the business I’m in. I help mid-level managers climb the corporate ladder faster. Yes, certainly things have changed for today’s up and comers, but your comment about how you define success is key. That’s exactly where I start with my clients.
    Dave Weir

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