Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Problem with the Corporate Ladder

I have my rock climbing shoes, my rope and harnesses. I got all the things necessary for my ascent to the top. Now, I am ready to start climbing in my life towards success, but on this climb I will not be using any ladder.

In many conversations, I hear people talking about climbing the ladder, whether it is the social ladder or the corporate ladder in life. They have it all planned out. This year I will be here and next year I will be there, so on and so on. There is nothing wrong, per se, with climbing the ladder except for the fact that it is always something that we have been taught to do. But there is one problem (that I will explain later).

A ladder is a series of bars or steps used for climbing (or descending) that are fixed between two upright lengths of metal, wood, or rope. There are all different types of ladders, and metaphorically it is easy to see how it can be used as a great comparison to show success or upward moving.

When I think of the corporate ladder, it reminds me of one of my favorite movies "Coming to America" where Eddie Murphy served as a mop boy at the McDonald's knockoff McDowell's. One of my favorite lines (and there were many) came from the coworker played by Louie Anderson, who said, "Hey, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. But now... now I'm washing lettuce. Soon I'll be on fries; then the grill. In a year or two, I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."

And this is how we look at our own careers. Step by step, eventually waiting for the big pay day. Next it is the fries, then it's the grill. Ascending the corporate ladder lends to too many people having control of our careers and financial destiny. They tell us how far we go, and when they feel we have gone far enough, they can seal the top. What is even more disappointing is working extremely hard to move up only for your promotion to be given to someone else.

Well, let me explain why I am not a fan of the corporate ladder. Visualize a ladder standing upright. Now think about what you see.
In  most cases , it is leaning against something for support and by no means is there anything wrong with having support. But in our climb, we depend and lean on our jobs so much only to realize that when we get to the end of the ladder, we are confronted with a wall. Yep, the good ol' wall that tells us that that is as far as we are going to let you climb. The wall blocks us from getting to where we want to be in life.

Ultimately, what we all want is control of our lives. So we must start taking control of it. Do YOU continue to climb the ladder, or are YOU prepared to scale the wall? 

In the mean time, I plan on "rock climbing" my way to success. The only scary part would be looking down. YIKES!

God Bless and many success on your journeys.

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