Career progression…

is diminishing.

Most companies don’t understand it fully yet. It’s caused by the impact technology has on business.

At one point in time, say 1,000 years ago, outside of nobility, most people learned everything they knew from their family. There wasn’t much that someone could teach their parents.

As the concept of careers developed due to industrialization, people start having paths available throughout their career to learn how a company functioned and move up. It took years to understand how everything in the company worked, and spending time at each level allowed a deep understanding of the position and operation of the company before moving further up and making more important decisions.

Today, technology is progressing so rapidly, nearly every position in a company is significantly different if looking through a 5 year window. Spending time in each position, won’t give you an insight into the position because it will look so different by the time you’re in decision making position.

Think about marketing in 2009, 10 years ago. The web had been mainstream for a bit. Google was already the most common search engine. Companies had understood the need for websites, and the big ones were developing e-commerce options to sell direct. However, the concept of Facebook marketing, didn’t really exist, or at least nowhere near the level it does today. Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn, weren’t viable platforms for marketing yet, and some of those hadn’t even launched. Podcasting was non-existent by comparison today.

Previous generations didn’t learn business in this marketing space. It’s brand new. A young generation is coming up that knows how to use these tools. And these tools if used correctly can build an entire company if finding the right niche, strategy, or tactic. We’re now in a situation where a younger generation can teach an older generation something of significant impact.

With that in mind, and knowing the trend is only going to continue, how can career progression still be a concept? At least, in the scope of “paying your dues” or “putting in your time”.

Instead, figuring out how to make an impact. Testing your theories, using the tools you know and sharing with the right decision makers is the way to move forward. Don’t wait for someone to see your value and let you do something. Instead, do something, and make people see the value in it. Then, and only then will you progress in your career.

P.S. Keep in mind, it’s a two-way street, if you can now leap over the generation previous to you, then the generation behind you can also leap over you. Don’t stop learning. Don’t stop experimenting.