Climbing the career ladder usually means managing people. Does it have to?

Is it possible to get ahead and move up the career ladder without managing people?

 It is a question that many have been asking for some time, regarding how to get ahead without managing people. That is, moving up the career ladder generally means managing people. Must be like this?

The higher you go in most careers, the more likely you are to become a manager. But many workers want to continue doing what they do best and not get involved in the complicated administration and politics of supervising other people.

The higher you go in most careers, the more likely you are to become a manager. But many workers want to continue doing what they do best and not get involved in the complicated administration and politics of supervising other people



To move up the career ladder, you shouldn’t have to be a manager.

This first contribution corresponds to Jeanne Sahadi who is a senior editor at CNN Business. Her coverage focuses on executive leadership issues, and before that, she covered federal taxes, spending and debt.

During her tenure at CNN, Sahadi also covered a wide range of policy debates, including health care reform, bankruptcy reform and welfare reform. She also reported on career issues, including salaries and benefits, company culture and the future of work. During her years covering personal finance at CNN, Sahadi was also a columnist for Money magazine.

Sahadi has been a guest on many CNN programs, as well as CNN affiliate radio shows and outside stations, including NPR.

In many companies, “climbing the ladder” usually means one thing: being promoted to management positions.

But there are many valuable and talented employees who have no interest in managing others or being responsible for the work of a team. For them, a promotion to leadership may mean an unhappy departure from what they enjoy and do well.

Such a promotion can also hurt employers if the person being promoted is unhappy or lacks management skills. After all, bad managers are often the reason why employees perform poorly or quit.

However, individual contributors who do not want to be managers still want to move up in terms of salary, professional prestige, and what they produce.


What can companies do to retain talented “non-managers”?

Companies should consider creating a second path to promotion, said Johnny Taylor, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

“There are two ladders: one is the compensation ladder and the other is the control span ladder. The individual taxpayer doesn’t necessarily want a margin of control, but he has to find a way to move up,” Taylor said.

Employers should also focus on ways that employees can improve and expand their skills and stay engaged, beyond simply making more money.

Companies that don’t offer growth opportunities could risk alienating some of the best talent, said Danny Nelms, president of the Work Institute, which studies employee engagement and retention.

In many companies, “climbing the stairs” usually means one thing: being promoted to management positions. But there are many valuable and talented employees who have no interest in managing others or being responsible for the work of a team



Invest in people with growth opportunities

«If you’re not seen as a company that invests in people with growth opportunities, you won’t attract the people you need,» Nelms said.

Anyone who doesn’t want to manage should ask potential employers directly: «Do you have alternative routes to making more money and achieving more prestige in this position?» advises Marcus Buckingham, director of people and performance research at the ADP Research Institute and co-author of “Nine Lies About Work.”

«That’s one of the most important questions in evaluating the effectiveness of the organization,» Buckingham said.

Alternative ladders in some industries but not others

To some extent, such routes already exist in some industries, at least for top talent who can potentially earn more than their bosses, Taylor noted.

For example, a world-renowned surgeon may earn more than the head of his department or hospital. The same goes for star football coaches who can earn more than the university president, or media personalities whose salaries can exceed those of some network executives.

The IT industry has created advancement opportunities for developers and other engineers to earn higher salaries without having to manage others directly.

But in other professions, such as nursing, that is not usually the case. Typically, to advance, a nurse must transition from nursing to a supervisory role. “It is very difficult to move up. To grow, you have to breastfeed less,” Buckingham said.

Create new career ladders

The Work Institute worked with two healthcare organizations in the Midwest to help them reduce high nurse turnover. One of the successful remedies was to create new career ladders for nurses, Nelms said. That included assistance in obtaining advanced degrees, residency programs and higher salaries for different levels of achievement.

Employers in any industry seeking creativity, excellence and deep expertise, not to mention high employee engagement, will undermine those goals if all the money and prestige goes to those in management, Buckingham said.

Otherwise, he warned, “you don’t get innovation, speed, or dominance. You end up with a company full of project managers.”





This contribution belongs to Colleen Gauder who is an author at Barrington College in Australia. She states that she is passionate about empowering people through education and training as they pursue their career aspirations.

Climbing the career ladder is often a combination of impressing people, performing well, and being visible for many months or years. It takes dedication and a real desire to reach the next level and keep going.

There is rarely a clear, consistent, universal path, no matter the company, industry, or position. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some near-universal strategies to ensure your career continues to grow and “climb the ladder” as many hope to achieve.

As always, it’s helpful to take stock of where you are and where you’re trying to go.

The IT industry has created advancement opportunities for developers and other engineers to earn higher salaries without necessarily having to manage others directly



Why do you want to climb the ladder?

Understanding why you want to grow and get promoted will help you know the right path. Maybe you would like a more flexible schedule, a better salary, or a more interesting job. This important step should also help you decide if this is really the path you would like to follow.

What does it take to climb the ladder?

Deciding how you will achieve this can create an understanding of how you will achieve your growth and establish a time frame for realizing your ascension. Do you need to move to another city? Will you need to change companies?

It may be helpful to plot your path using a flowchart and starting with your current position. Between each promotion, write down what it will take to reach the next level, such as more training, management skills, certifications, or other factors.

Talk to people who are currently in the roles you want to grow into and learn from them what it takes to grow and expand. They will be able to speak from experience and offer suggestions.

Get the basics right

While moving up the career ladder can be complex, it starts relatively easy and simple. If you learn the basics of the job well, you will establish a good foundation.

Making sure you always arrive on time, meet deadlines, do your tasks well, get along with your colleagues, and contribute to a positive work environment are the kind of minimum requirements that must be met before most people can be considered for a promotion.

Without the fundamentals, it is difficult to move forward. If you don’t crawl well, you’ll have a hard time running, so to speak.

Progress is not instantaneous, so be patient but proactive. You’re unlikely to become a CEO in two years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t practice good habits and prepare for the next promotion. Ask yourself every day or even every hour how what you are doing contributes to achieving your goals.

As with everything, growth is not one big step, but a series of smaller steps that add up to a big result.

Onboard your manager

Healthy, productive work environments encourage growth, so it’s a good idea to talk to your manager and anyone involved in your progress.

They can help you make suggestions, introduce you to people you should know, and bring you into projects so you can gain experience and eventually act as an internal advocate.

They can also put you on the radar of those above them in higher positions and help you determine if you are eligible for additional company-paid training.

If you feel like your manager may be the type who is paranoid about those who work for him “taking his job,” be careful. This may be a secret mission that you undertake on your own; Politics in the workplace tend to heavily influence the stairs.


Keep learning

Climbing the ladder will often require taking initiative and helping yourself. When you created your graph showing how you will achieve your goals and get promoted, you probably realized that education will be an important factor.

Earning the right certifications not only shows that you’re serious about growth, but some promotions require a specific training level or certificate. Signing up before participating in a promotion will speed up the process.

Because promotions typically lead to management and leadership positions, having the ability to motivate and manage employees, make decisions, and consider big-picture concepts will be key.

Senior positions typically require a broader understanding of business, including marketing, human resources, accounting, and more, so be sure to focus on a well-rounded education.

There are many ways, whether in the classroom or online, to obtain this education and training, even with a work schedule to consider.

Moving up the career ladder is usually a combination of impressing people, performing well, and being visible for many months or years. It takes dedication and a real desire to reach the next level and keep going



Take risk

Leadership and higher positions will mean being proactive and getting out of your comfort zone.

As you advance, be sure to demonstrate your ability to take on projects or jobs that may be more difficult or even above your level of experience, and be sure to do everything in your power to succeed on those projects.

Volunteer to help new staff, get involved in complex decisions, and if you have the opportunity to lead a big initiative, do your best.

Even if a promotion is a few years or months away, it can be helpful to express interest in openings when a senior colleague leaves the company or is promoted. It can give you the opportunity to demonstrate everything you have achieved so far and your desire to accelerate your career.

Ask about the opportunity. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no».

Ask for promotion, training, and the opportunity to try a new skill or project. Find ways to be resourceful and take on more than what is asked of you.

Many people remain stagnant and in inferior positions because they do not consciously focus on growing and learning, expanding their knowledge and skills, and preparing for the next step. Climbing the ladder is rarely an accident.

– What is your dream career path?

– Where do you want to be in one year, five or ten years?

– What does it take to get there and what can you do today to move towards your goal?





Why people don’t want to move up the career ladder to become managers


The following contribution is from Lidia Smith, writer for Yahoo Finance in the United Kingdom.

Only 1/3 of employees are interested in advancing to management positions. Becoming a manager was once an important step up the career ladder, but workers are increasingly avoiding this path.

However, this is not due to a lack of ambition. Today’s workers are redefining what success and, most importantly, job satisfaction look like.

A recent survey of 1,000 Americans by workplace analytics software company Visier found that less than half (38%) said they aspired to be a manager at their current company. The remaining 62% said they would prefer to remain individual taxpayers.

And it’s not the company that makes the difference, as only 36% said they were interested in becoming a people manager in a different organization. So why do people reject management positions and what does this leadership gap mean for companies?

Understanding why you want to grow and be promoted will help you know the right path. Maybe you would like a more flexible schedule, a better salary, or a more interesting job




Retire from the corporate routine

Whether you’re «quietly quitting» or adopting «quiet ambition» (focusing on individual fulfillment rather than traditional ideals of career success), TikTok’s workplace trends all point to one important fact. Many people are no longer willing to make their work the main focus of their existence and are drawing firm lines between their work and personal lives.

Instead of orienting their lives around their careers, employees are moving away from the corporate routine and shifting their priorities away from work.

When Visier asked workers about their ambitions, 67% said they wanted to spend more time with friends and family, 64% said they wanted to stay physically and mentally healthy, and 58% said they wanted to travel. Only 9% said they wanted to become managers and only 4% wanted to be in senior management positions.

The pandemic undoubtedly played an important role in this change. When faced with an unprecedented threat, many of us began to rethink what was important to us.

Suddenly, jumping from rung to rung on the career ladder seemed less important than our health and happiness, which ultimately come from having a good work-life balance. But this change was already underway before Covid-19. A 2014 survey of 3,625 workers found that only a third (34%) aspired to leadership positions.

People like to be individual contributors

Many people don’t want their boss’s job because they like the work they do. Being an individual contributor (doing your own work without managing other people) now has more status than before. A freelance developer can enjoy their work and earn a decent salary without having to deal with the challenges that come with management.


The prestige of being a manager is becoming less attractive

Since it can mean doing less than what you really want to do. Trading more hours and stress for an incremental amount of extra money no longer seems worth it. Among those surveyed, 40% said their biggest concern about becoming a manager was increased stress, pressure and increased time spent at work.

Many workers surveyed said they found working on projects more satisfying than the idea of ​​managing other people.

Today’s workers don’t need to be managers to be successful and satisfied. And, more importantly, there are fewer opportunities for people to climb the traditional corporate ladder, as many organizations have become flatter.

Different generations have different attitudes towards work

According to research by the Washington Post, millennials (those born between 1980 and 1994) are less interested in managing other people. However, they are interested in moving forward and want more personal responsibility.

To address this shift, some companies have even changed their definition of success in the workplace by designing career paths that do not lead to management positions.

Child care costs

However, the most important thing is that not everyone rejects management positions by choice. When broken down by gender, Visier’s data reveals a stark gap between women and men. Of those surveyed, 44% of men are interested in becoming people managers in their current organization, compared to 32% of women.

Men still dominate workplace leadership and management roles in the UK, which may deter women from seeking senior positions.

Perhaps most significantly, more women are choosing part-time jobs – or prioritizing flexible working – over managerial positions due to the rising cost of childcare.

Many important positions require a time commitment that excludes most mothers and, by extension, many women.

It may be helpful to plot your path using a flowchart and starting with your current position. Between each promotion, write down what it will take to reach the next level, such as more training, management skills, certifications, or other factors



What does this leadership gap mean for employers?

With fewer people wanting management positions, organizations may face a shortage of leaders as baby boomers and Generation X retire.

To address this, employers must provide support and align benefits with what employees want. If management roles came with flexible hours or work-sharing options, they could well make these jobs more attractive.

But it’s also important to remember how valuable individual contributors are. Not everyone wants to manage, and being a good manager requires specific skills that only a handful of people have.






What is the corporate ladder and how do you climb it?

Below is the contribution of Marshall Hargrave, who is a stock market analyst and writer with more than 10 years of experience covering stocks and markets, as well as analyzing and valuing companies.

The term «corporate ladder» is a conceptualized view of a company’s job hierarchy in which career advancement is considered to follow the highest rungs of a ladder, with entry-level positions on the lower rungs and entry-level positions executive, senior management at the top.

«Climbing the corporate ladder» is an expression used to describe a person’s advancement within a company through promotions.

Progress is not instantaneous, so be patient but proactive. You’re unlikely to become a CEO in two years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t practice good habits and prepare for the next promotion





The corporate ladder is the proverbial rise in a company’s work hierarchy, where career advancement is compared to climbing rungs on a ladder.

Entry-level positions are considered the lowest on the scale, while senior management and executives are at the top.

Different companies have different corporate ladders, some have narrower paths to promotions, depending on company culture or turnover.

A disadvantage of corporate ladders is that they can lead to interpersonal conflicts, as employees may have selfish interests in moving up the ladder.

People want to move up the corporate ladder to increase job satisfaction and salaries.

How the corporate ladder works

Companies and organizations are structured with a corporate hierarchy, which is established according to responsibilities, power, status and job function. Every employee of a corporation fits somewhere in the corporate hierarchy. Climbing the corporate ladder involves moving from one level to a higher level.

The corporate hierarchy is often set up as a pyramid with many low-level employees at the bottom performing basic tasks and job functions. The middle of the corporate hierarchy is smaller and generally made up of managers who supervise lower-level employees.

At the top of the corporate hierarchy will be senior management who perform difficult job functions and make crucial business decisions. These jobs typically include the CFO, COO, and CRO. At the top of the corporate hierarchy is the CEO, who is responsible for everything.

Limits to promotion

Certain roles, such as administrative roles, may have their own limits to moving up the corporate ladder, where skills do not easily translate to executive positions.

The corporate ladder consists of specific jobs at a specific location on the ladder. Those jobs come with certain responsibilities, benefits, and salaries. The higher you go on the ladder, the more responsibilities you have and the more salary you receive.

Moving up the corporate ladder usually involves superior performance in your current job, where a manager recognizes your skills and contributions and promotes you. An individual can move up the corporate ladder through promotions. They may also be hired into a new company at a higher level. Advancing within a company requires a lot of networking and support from senior management.


The higher an employee’s position on the corporate ladder, the more difficult it will be to advance. As you move up, there aren’t as many positions available at the top. Once you get to the top there is nowhere to go.

How to climb the corporate ladder

There is a huge amount of information and advice out there on how to climb the corporate ladder, much of it beyond just being good at your job.

Often the first step is to position yourself as a person who wants to grow and succeed. Communicating this to management will let them know your goals and they will take this into account when opportunities arise.

Next, it’s important to have a plan on how to move up the ladder.

– What are your goals?

– How can you achieve them?

– Who do you need to work with?

– Set milestones and set deadlines.

– Having a plan and knowing how to execute it will help you stay on track.

Networking is essential. No one can rise on their own without support, contacts and advice.

Networking with people who are higher up the corporate ladder than you will help you achieve your goals faster, get recognized and promoted.

Learn. Anyone who wants to climb the corporate ladder must be constantly learning.

The more you know, the more you can contribute and shine. And if you want to move up the corporate ladder, you need to know the roles you want to play.

When you created your graph showing how you will achieve your goals and get a promotion, you probably realized that education will be an important factor



Learning also leads to another area that helps move up the ladder.

This is being an initiator. It is essential to appear motivated and this can be achieved by executing the tasks assigned to you. But if you initiate ideas, find better solutions, and work to implement them, you come across as someone who takes control and gets things done.

Work hard and work smart

Be efficient and get your job done correctly and as quickly as possible. Your hard work will speak for itself and you will become an asset to the company; one they will want to keep and keep happy.

You’ve heard it before, but be a team player. If you can work well with others and communicate strongly, you will have a better chance of moving up the ranks than someone who is difficult, stubborn, and lonely. A business requires people who can work with others and the better you can do that, the happier people will be working with you.

Advantages and disadvantages of the corporate ladder

The action of moving up the hierarchy within a company can follow numerous paths depending on the structure of the business. Some companies have a narrow path to promotion, making it challenging for junior staff to advance within the organization.

This can also contribute to interpersonal conflicts in an office, as each employee looks for a way to move up the ladder.

For example, if middle managers do not have the opportunity to advance to a higher position, those managers may be reluctant to assist workers in their own promotion.

It may be more feasible to advance within a company by moving to another department or section where there are more opportunities to take on leadership duties and responsibilities.

The rate at which one is promoted can itself be used by others to evaluate their talent and ability. From this perspective, the faster one moves up the corporate ladder is considered a measure of the effort the individual is expected to put into his or her next position.

Moving up the ladder increases job satisfaction as new jobs come with new tasks and responsibilities. For a motivated person who has outgrown their current position, this is one of the most important aspects of moving up the corporate ladder.

Jobs higher up the ladder also come with higher salaries and benefits, as well as more prestige and importance within the company.



– Greater job satisfaction.

– Better salaries and benefits.

– More prestige.

– More responsibilities.


– Greater competition with co-workers.

– Roles and responsibilities with greater stress

Special Considerations

A company’s corporate culture can play a significant influence on who moves up the corporate ladder and what criteria are used to offer promotions. For example, some companies are more likely to promote workers who started in the business and have been committed to the company throughout their careers.

Meanwhile, other companies can look for professionals who have proven themselves in other companies and offer them higher-level positions and salaries compared to their current employment.

Senior positions generally require a broader understanding of business, including marketing, human resources, accounting, and more, so be sure to focus on a well-rounded education



Examples of the corporate ladder

Tracey Armstrong

Tracey Armstrong is the executive director of the Copyright Clearance Center. She started in the company at age 21 as an employee. According to her, she doesn’t like to be bored, so in her free time she started creating marketing material for the company and showed it to the marketing department. She liked what they saw and asked her to work on more projects.

At age 28, she was a customer service manager at the company when a boss asked her to manage an infrastructure project that was neither on time nor on budget. She worked on that project for 18 months, which she says led to the success the company enjoys today. In 2007, she became CEO of the company.

Chris Rondeau

Chris Rondeau is the CEO of Planet Fitness. He started with the company at the age of 20 in 1993, while at university working the front desk part-time. He eventually started working front desk full time and then became a personal trainer. He then went from personal trainer to store manager to regional manager.

When Planet Fitness was opening its third store, Rondeau proposed to the founders not to sell the gym based on the equipment they offered but on the gym’s atmosphere. The founders liked the idea, tweaked the company, and eventually made Rondeau a partner in 2003. He then became chief operating officer and eventually CEO.

Corporate Ladder FAQ

What level of the corporate ladder is the least diverse?

The highest position on the corporate ladder is the least diverse. Most CEOs are white men, and few positions at that level include women or people of color. It’s harder for minorities to climb the corporate ladder. For example, studies show that 12% of blacks hold entry-level jobs, but that number drops to 7% by the next level.

What have been the barriers to the advancement of women on the corporate ladder?

Barriers to women moving up the corporate ladder include the existence of the old boys’ network, exclusion from social gatherings, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and lack of mentors.

How high up the corporate ladder can you climb without a college degree?

There is no set limit on how high up the corporate ladder an individual can climb without a college degree. There are many people who run or have run companies without having a college degree. Once you’re in the door for a specific job, it’s possible to move up the corporate ladder to eventually become CEO.

Ask for promotion, training and the opportunity to try a new skill or project. Find ways to be resourceful and take on more than what is asked of you




The bottom line

The corporate ladder represents the hierarchical structure of jobs in a company that carry different responsibilities, status and power.

The higher you go up the corporate ladder, the more responsibilities you have, but also better salaries and better benefits.

Most people seek to move up the corporate ladder to increase job satisfaction and wealth.



How to move up the career ladder without managing people

The following contribution is from Josie Davies, who is a Senior Career Transition Consultant at Hays. Josie joined Hays Career Transition Services in March 2020. She is an experienced careers consultant/coach with over 10 years’ experience supporting people from a wide variety of sectors ranging from charities, government to commercial and banking organisations.

She has consistently received recognition for her supportive and solutions-focused approach to helping people successfully manage career transitions. Josie trained in coaching with ICF accredited training provider Coaching Development Ltd and is a member of the Association for Coaching.

What comes to mind when you think of a management position? People management, normally. And, as such, greater respect and higher salary, more experience and responsibility. But do you really want to manage people? Or do you see it more as a necessary but unfortunate career move?

The reality is that not everyone wants to make a living managing people.

Fortunately, this is becoming a prerequisite for the title «manager», and you can still be recognized for your progress outside of that somewhat dated understanding of the role. Many successful career paths do not involve people management competency, but still offer attractive salaries, progression and a title that recognizes your seniority in your field.

It’s okay to not want to manage people

Having direct reports can be a rewarding experience, although these roles have undoubtedly become more pressured in recent years. People managers are often expected to do more with less, while workplace dynamics have become much more complicated: think multi-generational teams and overseeing hybrid work, and you’ll start to see why one of each two managers who have one or more direct reports feel burned out.

Wellbeing is just one element. Other reasons to pursue a career not related to people management could be:

You love the hands-on element of your job – feeling shoehorned into a people management role you wouldn’t have naturally gravitated toward could be detrimental to the skill set that made you an expert in the first place, particularly as you begin the focused aspect in people. to occupy more and more of your time.

With no one to supervise, you may be better able to focus on the technical or creative aspects of your profession, delving into the practical aspects of what you do best.

Many people are no longer willing to make their work the main focus of their existence and are drawing firm lines between their work and personal lives



Prefer more flexible working styles – having direct reports, especially if they are very young, will probably mean you will have to be more conscious about working from home too often and give plenty of notice about annual leave.

Managing people can be demanding: there is nothing to be ashamed of; Managing teams can be an emotionally draining experience, especially with today’s external pressures and nuanced workforces, and conflict resolution is a skill that, like any other, must be developed over time.

Let’s say you’ve decided to pursue a career path unrelated to people management: what are the best ways to avoid career stagnation and continue developing as a professional?

  1. Look for career progression opportunities

Having direct reports is not the only way to climb the corporate ladder. Whether it’s an internal or external move, it’s possible to challenge yourself with opportunities that offer career progression without the need to manage others.

If you enjoy the culture of your current organization but feel like you’ve plateaued professionally, you may decide to move to a new department if the position offers increased responsibilities and the opportunity to earn a higher salary.

However, if your current employer does not offer desirable non-people management avenues, it may be time to consider a new organization. Today, career paths are more fluid and less linear than ever, and it is much more common for professionals to make lateral leaps and seek roles that better suit their evolving values ​​and ambitions.

Instead of adding people management to your responsibilities, you could move to an organization that offers management-level roles without any direct reports. What form this takes is up to you: whether it be greater prestige and remuneration, more chances to benefit society, or the opportunity to learn new skills and work with the latest technology.

  1. Develop your skills and find a niche

Not wanting direct reports does not equate to a lack of ambition; The time and energy you save could be spent pursuing professional development and recognition in your chosen field. In practice this might look like this:

Continuous skill improvement: Take online courses, attend workshops, or listen to podcasts to learn new skills and improve existing ones. Did you have your eye on that quick engineering course? Go for it.

Seek recognition – this could mean seeking awards from your employer, clients or industry bodies; You can enjoy an acclaimed career without being a leader of people.

Share your knowledge: Choosing not to manage people doesn’t mean you can’t coach and inspire others, which will only cement your own experience and reputation.

If you constantly develop your skills and establish yourself as a true specialist, you could become indispensable to your current or future employer. Or you could do it alone…

Many people don’t want their boss’s job because they like the work they do. Being an individual contributor (doing your own work without managing other people) now has more status than before



  1. Be your own boss: become a freelancer

What do you think about being in demand, enjoying greater work flexibility and also having the autonomy to make your own business decisions and plan the professional growth you want? If you nod affirmatively, you could find your way as a freelancer.

As organizations across industries seek to overcome skills shortages, remain agile and enjoy quick access to specialized knowledge, the “gig economy” has established itself as a considerable market force and, for many, is much more than a simple secondary activity.

This market, estimated at just under half a million people in the UK, is mainly made up of desktop services such as software development, writing and translation, and accounting.

Freelancing is not always an easy path, but by honing your skills and building a portfolio, you will be well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities available.

There is no doubt that being a people manager has its advantages and could be a potential platform for further promotion. However, career progression is more than just managing people; There are numerous opportunities at the management level outside the field of people management.

And remember, while you may not choose to become a people manager today, there’s always a chance to change your mind. Either way, you’re the boss.

Find your next job opportunity today or find out how much you could earn with our free salary checker.





Below are some elements to consider regarding the corporate ladder given by the Quora portal.

The reasons why some people seem to climb the corporate ladder more easily than others can vary, and it’s not always about working harder or having a single secret.

Below are some factors that can contribute to an individual’s success in advancing their career within a corporate environment:

Networking: Building and maintaining a strong professional network can be crucial for career advancement. Those who have strong connections within their industry or organization may have access to more opportunities, mentors, and support that can help them climb the corporate ladder.

Visibility and personal brand: People who are proactive in publicizing their achievements and building a positive reputation within their organization are more likely to be recognized and considered for promotions or special projects.

Continuous Learning and Skill Development: Those who invest in developing their skills, staying up to date with industry trends, and pursuing growth opportunities are often better positioned to take on new challenges and responsibilities.

Emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills: The ability to work well with others, manage conflict effectively, communicate clearly, and demonstrate empathy can be critical to success in a corporate environment, especially when one takes on leadership roles.

Strategic thinking: People who can see the big picture, think strategically, and align their goals with the organization’s goals are more likely to be seen as valuable contributors and potential leaders.

Adaptability and resilience: In a rapidly changing business environment, those who can adapt to new circumstances, learn from failures, and recover from setbacks are more likely to succeed in the long term.

Mentoring and sponsorship: Having mentors or sponsors within the organization who can provide guidance, support, and advocacy can significantly increase someone’s chances of moving up the corporate ladder.

The prestige of being a manager is becoming less attractive since it can mean doing less than what you really want to do. Trading more hours and stress for an incremental amount of extra money no longer seems worth it



Opportunities and timing: Sometimes luck and being in the right place at the right time can influence career advancement. Being prepared to take advantage of opportunities as they arise can make all the difference.

It is important to remember that success in a corporate environment is influenced by a combination of factors, and what works for one person may not work for another. Additionally, systemic factors such as prejudice, discrimination, and unequal access to opportunities can also affect an individual’s career progression.





Career progression: is it the only way up?

That contribution corresponds to Ravianne Van Vliet who is a consultant at Lepaya, and in this portal let’s see what she says in “About Us”: Productive and happy employees? Yes please! We empower professionals and drive businesses. See our careers page for more information.

Career progression is no longer limited to moving up the traditional corporate ladder to higher positions.

The focus has shifted to working smarter, not harder, to achieve career advancement and job satisfaction.

Many young professionals value personal values ​​over titles and take a flexible and adventurous career approach.

Successful career planning involves finding a balance between ambition, meaningful work, and personal growth.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to career progression, where people are free to explore different paths and opportunities.

Career progression, the process of advancing within working life, traditionally involved vertical growth to higher-level positions.

For example, he would start as a trainee in a company’s public relations department, then be promoted to assistant public relations manager, and finally become communications director. While there is nothing wrong with this particular career framework, many organizations today recognize that there are numerous career paths that employees can follow to achieve their career goals, resulting in greater job satisfaction and a happier workforce. Is the professional career a thing of the past?

According to research by the Washington Post, millennials (those born between 1980 and 1994) are less interested in managing other people. However, they are interested in moving forward and want more personal responsibility



Climbing the corporate ladder

For a long time, it was believed that the best way to build a successful career was to slowly but steadily climb the corporate ladder.

You choose a company, a trade or a profession, you start at the bottom of the ladder and, if you work hard from time to time, you will be promoted to the next step in your career until you reach director or vice president.

The more effort and energy you put in, the faster you will reach the top and the more power, benefits and money will flow to you. Not to mention the status that came with that impressive job: it would skyrocket to galactic proportions.

Everyone would respect you because just look at that A-class car, that fantastic city apartment and that fabulous designer wardrobe, right? You did it!

To be clear: some people are perfectly happy with this form of career progression

And the benefits that come with reaching the top can be quite amazing, not to mention the possibilities for career growth. However, others don’t feel fulfilled once they climb the stairs and start asking questions.

– “Why do I feel overwhelmed all the time?”

– «Do I really want to be a manager?»

– Or more philosophically: “Does this career path meet my personal purpose?

– Do I still feel comfortable with the ethics of this company?

If at some point you decided that you no longer wanted to be an account manager or banker, but rather “do something with animals” or follow your passion by becoming a photographer, not long ago that would be frowned upon.

Because? Because once you’re on the career ladder, the general opinion would be to work your way up, stay on track, stay put, or worse yet, take a step back. Just keep going up. Even if you are afraid of heights. Even if you don’t like the view once you get there.


The times they Are a changing

Luckily, times have changed. The traditional “bigger, better, higher” approach has changed. The adage “work hard, play hard” has been replaced by the now commonly accepted term “work smarter, not harder.”

It implies that career advancement is not about putting in long hours and striving for perfection in an unhealthy way, but rather about optimizing the way you work to obtain the best results. Countless research has shown that working smarter improves productivity, creativity and motivation and leads to higher levels of job satisfaction.

Ultimately, people will perform better and at the end of the day, this can lead them to the next level in their careers as their managers will notice and appreciate their work ethic. For example, with a promotion, a salary increase or with the opportunity to further develop your leadership skills or dexterity.

In itself, this idea is not new. Successful authors like Charles Dickens and Gabriel García Márquez had a relatively short but efficient work schedule in which they wrote five hours a day or less, and look where it got them.

But recently, the anti-workaholism movement seems to be growing more rapidly. As employees suffered increasing work-related stress and burnout over the past decade, younger generations entered the workforce, and the disruptive effects of the pandemic began to appear (including blurred boundaries between work and life ), people realized that there is more to life than reaching the goal. the top and all the potential pressure that comes with it.

Work hard, get promoted and then be happy? Not so much. A great work-life balance? Yes please

The professional ladder versus the rope swing

As our views about what it means to have a successful career change, some might argue that the traditional career ladder is officially broken. Many young professionals are no longer interested in climbing those steps just for the sake of it.

Instead of focusing on a job for life, they understand that it is more important to continually develop new skills, build meaningful connections at work, and live a happy, healthy life.

Your identity is not based on your position and work status, but on how well your work fits your personal values ​​and interests. They are still willing to work hard and actively seek growth opportunities, but not necessarily in a linear way. The good news?

Nowadays, drawing your professional map has become much more fun as it can be full of discoveries and adventures.

Just like a rope swing, you can go up, down, forward, backward and sideways, in any direction you choose to find your career purpose. You can take a break and invest time in your personal development, for example by traveling or starting a study to become an even better expert in your field.

You can also switch to a completely different chord and change careers to a company, industry or role that allows you to face challenges and explore what is really important to you in your work life.

If you manage to discover rope swings, you may find yourself in uncharted territory. This can be daunting, but to be honest, it’s part of an adventure. An adventure you can’t really have with a ladder because a ladder needs to remain steady.

With fewer people wanting management positions, organizations may face a shortage of leaders as baby boomers and Generation X retire



Misunderstandings about successful career planning

We’re lucky to live in a time where you can change your route if you’re not happy where you are. This doesn’t mean that you can’t follow a linear career path in a field, and it doesn’t mean that this is typical of younger generations.

So to avoid misunderstandings:

– In fact, there are many people who have the following three characteristics: they work hard, they are successful AND they are happy. They are perfectly happy with the industry or company they chose when they were still young.

– The key is that they don’t waste time doing things they don’t like in an organization that doesn’t suit them, but they feel really motivated, get a sense of purpose from their work, and often have meaningful relationships at work.

There’s nothing wrong with a good dose of ambition

It is actually one of the drivers of successful leadership. But ambition is not about money or status, it is about wanting to make a difference and have a profound impact. Today’s successful leaders know that it’s not about getting to the top, but about empowering their people to become the best version of their professional selves.

Seeking a healthy balance between work and personal life is not exclusively part of the “Generation Z or millennial mentality.” Baby boomers are known to have made radical career changes. The difference is that, in the past, it was called a midlife crisis. Today, it is considered a breakthrough in middle age.


Each person has a different and unique path to follow. Both in their lives and in their careers. There is no plan or ideal steps you can take, there is no right or wrong path. So in that sense, the question is not whether the traditional career ladder is broken. Because some people have very deliberate and well-planned ideas about how to move up, the linear path is still a way to get there, as long as it is done carefully and in a healthy way. On the other hand, our view on having a successful career path has changed: the way many people and companies view career progression has become more innovative, with many options for movement, freedom and, yes, also enough room for adventure.

Employee career progression is about people discovering their talents and developing their skills. Interested in what our Power Skill training can do for your business? Visit or be sure to check out our demo.





Climbing the corporate ladder. Definition and structure

This contribution corresponds to the portal

Frequent questions

What does it mean to move up the career ladder?

Climbing the career ladder is proverbial for moving up the ranks in an organization. It refers to moving from one position to a higher position in a vertical corporate structure in an organization. Higher positions have more responsibilities and higher salaries.

How do you move up the corporate ladder effectively?

The process of climbing stairs is executed effectively with a plan. Additionally, an individual needs networks and resources. The higher you climb the corporate ladder, the greater the educational demand. Therefore, moving up the corporate ladder requires an educational partnership.

What are the positions on the corporate ladder?

The corporate ladder has several positions that can be classified into two. The executive and management with board members, executive leaders and the director and managers. The other category is employees who are part of an organization’s workforce.

Different companies have different corporate ladders, some have narrower paths to promotions, depending on company culture or turnover



Climbing the corporate ladder: structure

The corporate structure is diverse in different organizations. It is linked to different departments such as human resources, sales and marketing, IT and support, and accounting departments of an organization. These departments are the functional areas of an organization. The hierarchical structure determines the flow of communication and the duties of employees in the organization.

The most common organization structure is two-tier, with a company management team and a board of directors that runs the organization.

The overall management team includes the CEO in charge of the entire organization, the CFO who controls the organization’s resources and funds, and the COO who handles daily operations. Under the overall top management team, there are managers and directors in each department.


The Board of Directors are the members chosen to represent the company’s interest groups. His position is the highest rank on the corporate ladder. The board of directors has the authority to govern an organization by making strategic corporate decisions at board meetings. The role of the board of directors is to protect the interests and rights of a company’s stakeholders and investors.

The Board has the responsibility of taking care of the assets that are invested in the business. The board of directors performs its duties by attending board meetings and making strategic decisions for the company.






 In tech, moving up the career ladder is about more than just technical skill or luck


This contribution corresponds to Steve Huynh who is a principal engineer at Amazon and Youtuber. He is known for helping technology professionals get a quick promotion,

In tech, moving up the career ladder is about more than just technical skill or luck. A lot of this is about understanding what the company really values ​​about him:

𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩: It’s not just about a title, it’s about taking the initiative and inspiring your team to reach new heights. Tech work is a team sport, not an individual activity. Be the person others look to for direction and motivation.

𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: Listen more than you talk. Listen to understand different perspectives and make sure everyone is on the same page. When you speak, say it in a way that people can understand you clearly. Your ability to convey technical concepts clearly, accessible to everyone, can close gaps and make the team work better together.

𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲: At the end of the day, results matter. Consistently delivering results is what separates the best from the rest. Be reliable, show that you can turn your talk into reality. Once you can build a track record of your successes, you’ll be able to trust them with larger, more far-reaching projects.

𝘓𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘵: Your technical skills are important, but it is your ability to lead, communicate and deliver that will set you apart and that is what will allow you to advance.






 How to Climb the Corporate Ladder to Improve Your Career

This contribution corresponds to the Indeed portal and has been developed by the Indeed corporate team.

If you are interested in pursuing a career within a large or international company, advancing your career may require dedication to climbing the «corporate ladder.»

This means that if you are a recent graduate or have only a few years of experience, you may consider seeking an entry-level or junior-level position and moving up within the company through promotions. Knowing how to successfully move up in the business world can help you better plan your career path.

In this article, we explain what a corporate ladder is and list nine steps you can take to advance your corporate career.

What is the corporate ladder?

The term «corporate ladder» generally describes a job hierarchy that consists of a series of important jobs that someone can perform within an organization.

In this hierarchy, recent graduates and people applying for entry-level positions are typically at the bottom of that scale. Similarly, individuals who are managers and executives are at the top of the scale because they run the company by supervising the work of less experienced employees.

When you decide to move up the career ladder, it often means that you are dedicated to advancing your career within a company or industry by continually improving your role-specific skills and marketability.

In other words, you start from the bottom and work your way up to a senior and managerial position through promotions. Many companies today have many entry-level positions available, but only a few roles in senior management, so moving up in those organizations can be challenging, but comes with many benefits, such as salary increases or annual benefits.

How to move up the career ladder

Advancing your career by moving up the career ladder requires you to continually learn new things and improve your skills to increase your professional value. These are the essential steps to move up the career ladder in the business world:

Companies and organizations are structured with a corporate hierarchy, which is established according to responsibilities, power, status and job function. Every employee in a corporation fits somewhere in the corporate hierarchy



  1. Identify your professional goals

The first, and often most important, step to advancing your career is to carefully identify your goals. This is one of the best ways to ensure that this career path meets your expectations and can help you get to where you want to be when you retire.

To decide if working for a large organization is the right choice for you, you may consider taking a closer look at what this career path is like for most corporate employees. For example, you can take into consideration their work schedule, benefits, and sacrifices they make to advance professionally.

After identifying your dream job and career path, you may consider listing the things you would like to achieve within this career by creating a long-term career plan. It’s often helpful to start with big goals, like taking on a leadership position, and break them down as you go. Defining the smallest steps helps you determine the skills and knowledge that are essential to advance and succeed within the organization.

  1. Prioritize your professional development

Making a long-term career plan allows you to focus on prioritizing your professional development. To do this, make sure you dedicate enough time each week to participate in professional development opportunities.

For example, this could be on-the-job training, finding a mentor at work, taking some online classes, or even educating yourself by reading books and reviewing educational materials that are specific to your role at the company. If you are actively applying for jobs, this can be an advantage for you because if an interviewer asks you what you do after hours to develop new skills, you could simply mention those activities.


  1. Focus on building relationships

Building relationships at work is important regardless of your career path. Stronger, healthier professional relationships make it easier to improve teamwork and increase productivity because you always know there is someone who can help you understand or learn something when you need it.

Similarly, you may consider letting your coworkers know that you are ready to support them if they need help completing their tasks. Remember that maintaining those relationships continues as you advance in your career, and be sure to speak kindly of your former colleagues, as you’ll never know when your paths will cross again.

Related: 8 Essential Steps to Building Relationships at Work

  1. Continuously improve your skills

Committing to self-improvement demonstrates the dedication and ambition that corporate employees need to excel. Making a lasting impression by positioning yourself as a reliable and trustworthy person can help you increase your chances of getting promoted and achieving your goals.

To show self-awareness and a willingness to learn, consider asking your supervisor to help you set your annual performance goals. This way, you can show that you are considerate of the company’s needs.

  1. Show initiative

Advancing within a company is often the result of your hard work and dedication. This means that when you exceed your manager’s expectations, you are more likely to notice and reward his efforts by promoting you.

It is important to learn to show initiative while maintaining motivation and a healthy balance between work and personal life. For example, you can do this by choosing to have a «can do» attitude whenever you encounter a challenging task at work or by offering your help to new coworkers who need more time to adjust to their new responsibilities.

  1. Know your value

Understanding your professional value allows you to establish yourself as a valuable employee who possesses a unique set of skills that can benefit the employer. Being assertive at work by communicating your needs to your manager or supervisor can help you explore higher-paying opportunities within the company.

Employers often choose to recognize and reward employees who know their value and continually increase it by learning new skills because they want them to stay with the company for the long term.

  1. Take risks

Taking risks in the workplace allows you to step out of your comfort zone and creates new learning opportunities. Employers value people who know how to analyze complex situations or projects and are willing to take controlled risks because it often allows them to find innovative solutions to everyday problems that improve company processes. People who take risks tend to be more creative and less afraid of change or challenging tasks.

  1. Track your success

Documenting your milestone achievements allows you to track your progress and identify whether you have met your short- and long-term goals set out in your career plan. Tracking your success is also important if you want to update your CV when you apply for a management position within the same company or change jobs. Be sure to review this list before each job interview or one-on-one meeting with your supervisor, as it can help you prepare to discuss new career options and opportunities.

  1. Move on if necessary

Occasionally, you may find that your current company lacks the growth opportunities you desire, in which case you may decide to move on and look for a higher-level position with a different employer. Be sure to identify your priorities and ensure that the companies you interview with can meet your expectations.

If you value security and employee benefits, you may consider looking for open positions at larger, well-established companies.

If rapid career advancement is your priority, you may consider applying to new and newly formed companies that value the individual focus and efforts of each employee.

Benefits of choosing a corporate career path

If you’re wondering if moving up the career ladder might be the right choice for you, here are some benefits of this career path to consider:

Structured career path: For many employees, a structured career path is an important benefit of working at a large company. It allows them to predict what their career would be like if they stayed with the same employer for a longer period of time.

Job security: Having a full-time job can make you feel more secure in life. It offers you a periodic fixed compensation that makes it easier to plan your long-term objectives that require financial investments of any kind.

Networking opportunities: Large companies are generally more diverse, which you can benefit from professionally and personally. This diversity also creates many networking opportunities, which you can explore if you’re interested in changing roles within the company or learning new skills.

Employee Benefits: It is common for large organizations to offer more benefits to their employees because they want to attract highly qualified candidates. Some employee benefits and perks you can often expect include free gym memberships or private healthcare packages.


This information has been prepared by OUR EDITORIAL STAFF