No ladder needed!
For decades in the US, if not longer, the normal trajectory for a career path has been upward or bust. We were expected to schmooze, work long and hard, and network with the "right" people to advance our careers. This doesn't often mesh well with folks who value a balanced life instead of a steady climb up the corporate ladder.
Many ESP couples tell us of the unconventional paths they have forged in defense of the lifestyle which offers them both a rewarding career and enough time for all the other pursuits they hold dear. These couples would certainly enjoy the work of Cathleen Benko who is the director of talent for Deloitte Services LP. She is also the author of Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace With Today's Nontraditional Workforce and the recently released The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance In the Changing World of Work.
Ms. Benko covers both the possible business response to trends toward a desire for less vertical careers and the personal capacity to achieve and thrive in such a nonconformist career approach. We have enjoyed her recent work and believe it fits well with an ESP life.
Ann Meyer, a Chicago Tribune columnist, recently took up the issue of "lattice careers" and highlighted that "today's youngest workers, often called Gen Y or Millennials, also crave work-life balance. Work isn't the only thing keeping them happy and fulfilled."
Yes, yes, yes! One of the foundations of ESP is wanting a balanced life. The career domain is often the most difficult area to negotiate given the relative lack of control for workers in determining their schedule, flexibility, and areas of interest. A few people in Ms. Meyer's article refer to companies who are doing things differently.
"Increasingly, corporations also are learning that keeping workers happy means
asking them what type of job experience and career path they desire."
"There's no judgment if someone expresses a desire to move up or down."
I love the sound of these companies and can only hope that this is a trend that takes hold.