For the last several years, there has been a lot of discussion in the world of work regarding a reduction in internal promotions. Anything from the economy, to job reduction, to Baby Boomers delaying retirement, to talent shortages have been cited as reasons for the slowdown in career progression at most companies.
As a result, social media has been a buzz coming up with all kinds of workarounds, anything from planning the complete annihilation of silo management or office hierarchy to predicting the dawn of the age of the independent contractor. It has set frustrated Gen-Xers a flame contemplating a world in which management works for staff, a staff who really works for itself…in other words, total and utter collaboration on a level playing field that will, naturally of course, usher in world peace.
And although it is true that companies have shifted management structures at least to give the appearance of being a little less “traditional,” and that entrepreneurialism, at least in the form of consulting work, has been on the rise, I wouldn’t call it a revolution just yet.
And here are 5 reasons why
First, Baby Boomers will retire, eventually, especially over the next 2 to 5 years.
Second, the restructuring of management in most companies is not all that drastic. Putting the boss’s desk in a room without walls doesn’t change who is ultimately in charge.
Third, you can just only do so much job-hopping to get ahead before your spouse, kids, and midlife crisis catch up with you.
Fourth, half of all small businesses fail…and that is just as true for independent contractors as for anybody else. (If you want a frustrating pursuit really lacking in accolades and entitlements, just try your hand at it.)
Fifth, climbing the corporate ladder is still a noble goal, despite what you may hear, and deep down, most professionals waiting in the wings know that.
So, will you be ready?
Therefore, with the era of promotions returning, sadly, most Gen-Xers and the Millennials trailing behind will not be ready when it comes. And it is important that they should be.
- Companies aren’t likely to do a 1-to-1 exchange, which means there will be competition.
- Your colleagues will have been waiting for a while too, and they will feel just as entitled.
- Companies say they like to promote from within, but that’s not always true.
- Leadership is forgetful, and it will be your job to remind them (like it or not).
So, even though you might be thinking a job search or a consulting gig is around the corner for you, don’t forget that building a promotion portfolio might be the wisest of them all.
Are you maximizing your current job opportunity?
Before you write off your future with your current company, evaluate your chances of landing a promotion and then get prepared. I guarantee you those around you will drop the ball on this one. After all, they will be too busy trying to figure out who said starting your own business was for everyone.