At the turn of the 21st century, the working class all over the world were fed a false notion that the only way to have a career was to stick to one company and climb the proverbial corporate ladder to the upper echelons of your targeted field.
Companies began offering careers instead of jobs in an effort to ensnare employees into remaining in the fold, promising that as they grew, so would their staff. Which is true, to an extent, however, much like adding salt as a catalyst to boiling water makes it boil faster, so too can there be a catalyst for your professional progression. And that catalyst is; changing jobs. A horizontal progression as opposed to a vertical ascent early on in your career.
Anyone born like me in the beginning of the age of enlightenment (i.e. the birth of the Internet) will notice that we all have one thing in common; our parents have stable jobs in that they have worked for the same company/organization throughout your entire life. A noble approach, as it leads to the creation of a good retirement fund fed by the years spent at work. If you ask them they will say to you that sticking with the same company is the best way to grow. What they will not tell you however, is that it is not the only way to grow. Some companies offer annual performance evaluations with steady career growth, however that is not always the case as you could find yourself cemented in place having hardly moved an inch whilst others are getting hired at higher positions than you with less experience.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a brilliant psychologist named Abraham Maslow was born, who would go on to create Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a pyramid of the employees’ requirements starting from the most basic – being physiological (guaranteed food and shelter) and safety (stability of employment) to the highest needs of self-actualization and self-esteem.
In a nutshell, what Maslow meant was that it was not enough to simply provide employees with careers, they had to feel in sync with their organizations, there had to exist a buy-in of the employees to the company’s ideologies. However, sadly this is not the case.
As different as you are from your neighbor, so too are businesses different from each other. Some offer lucrative salaries with long working hours. Some offer mediocre salaries with long working hours. Some offer perks such as parking spots, bonuses, annual trips, medical insurance, company discounts etc. Some promise a career and fail to deliver! Your challenge is to find the company that offers you the balance you require to achieve your hierarchy of needs.
Make no mistake, vertical growth is the holy grail of growths, it is what everyone strives to achieve in the long run. However, for short term gains, horizontal growth is equally rewarding. You might find yourself jumping ship to an organization with less working hours and more pay. Most people refuse such opportunities, insisting that one must do their time in the trenches in order to pay their dues.
Horizontal growth offers short to medium range satisfaction; the goal of course is to land in a company where all of your needs are met, where you can then proceed to climb the corporate ladder. You will not find this magical wonderland if you subscribe to the belief of one life, one job and that the grass will be greener on the upper level.
It is referred to as job hoping, however I see it more as selective sampling. In the buffet of business you try out all the food that is available, and if your stomach has not burst yet, you go to the dish that tickled your tastebuds the most, and you ask for seconds.