By Dorie Clark
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.