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The Corporate Ladder: Why You Must Stop Climbing

Updated on September 16, 2014
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Dream Big

If you don't build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs. - Tony Gaskins


I love this quote because it is absolutely true. Think about when you first got hired to whatever job you are currently at, it was most likely at the bottom of the ladder because you must prove yourself before allowed to start climbing. These ladders are in every corporate business and is the key ingredient in building someone else's dream. Do you want to build their dream, or your's?

Most people want to be apart of a corporate team due to them wanting to wake up in the morning, go work their 8 hours, clock out, and come home to their family's. This may provide to be safe for most but how safe is it really? We live in a time where unemployment is rampant and people are willing to work for nothing just to have a steady income. Are you irreplaceable? I would safely guess that you are not, if you filled the spot, so can someone else.

The Corporate Ladder though is what most people strive for. If they can just do a little better, if they can show up early and go home late. If they can do favors for the boss and work extra shifts. If only they do these things, they could one day climb another step, and be one step closer to that goal that they have set. For some, this step is assistant manager, for others, a supervisor. These goals may be set way to low for others, but everyone has the goal that will make them feel accomplished. One must think about the competition, because rest assured you are not the only one with that exact goal. This is commonly known as the rat race, it is just a matter of whom gets there first.


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So What Now?

Lets say that you have spent years at your job only to climb one step of this ladder. How many more years will it take to get those 10 extra steps below you to be happy with where you are at? Will you now be nearing retirement, or perhaps, so burned out with the race that you no longer want any of it? At what costs are you willing to spend to get there? What sacrifices have you had to make along the way whether at work or at home in your personal life?

Being at the top of the ladder is no longer safe with the problems of current economy. Companies are looking to cut money where they can, to either stay afloat, or to keep the CEO bonuses going. A top ladder employee makes more money than his counterparts below him. A company must lay off several of the lower employees to equal one employee at the top of the ladder. These are the worker bee employees that are essential at keeping the business going. Now it is a much easier option to, instead, keep these lower employees and lay off a top employee for the sheer amount of salary saved. What about his replacement though? Others striving to climb that corporate ladder are more than willing to take on this newly opened spot at a much less salary rate for nothing but the title. You are replaceable and it is easily done.

Much better options are out there if you are not happy with staying the low man on the ladder. What do you dream of? What do you really want in your life? Do you want to build your dream, or would you rather build someone else's dream? Can you come to grips with the fact that you may spend years or even decades building someone else's dream only to be kicked out at the end left to start over? In 20 years from now are you going to wonder what would be different if you would have jumped off that ladder and built your own ladder?

Whatever it is that you dream of, start planning, make it a reality. I will not sit here and say that this is not a very hard daunting task without sacrifice. I would be lying if I said that it were.

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