I recently asked a prospective job applicant to MTI what she hopes to achieve at MTI. “To climb the management ladder” was her response. My response was “We do not have a ladder, only a carousel that helps you to go around the organization”.
Gone are the days when career was an upward flight of stairs, with each step taking us a little closer to our dream job (or maybe self-actualization?). With each hard earned step comes anticipation for an increased remuneration, incentive and status as we work our way to the top. With organizational structures becoming increasingly flatter and leaner with fewer managerial positions, does the conventional career ladder still stand a chance?
What we need today are more rounded managers, able to appreciate a 360 degree view of the business. To do so, we must be willing to pay a premium not just for every step of the ladder, but for every destination in the carousel and the value it brings.
The Generalist, in comparison to the specialist, has a far better chance of getting himself / herself a job during economic downturns. They tend to be able to keep learning distinct areas of interest to add to their complementary skills- this of course enables to build a solid foundation for their employability while at the same time conquer the boredom in a monotonous job. The absence of motivation is detrimental to the organization’s productivity. Boredom at the workplace could drive down the energy forces people need to perform. The different knowledge areas would mean they can be employed in any department/ sector while specialism tends to narrow your options in terms of flexibility so will it be the same if the area of specialism goes obsolete. Is this the end of the career ladder?