Climbing the Corporate Ladder

ladder

“I have a head for business and a bod for sin”

My favorite line from the Melanie Griffith movie Working Girl.  An ’80s movie about climbing the corporate ladder.  But is climbing the corporate ladder still all it’s cracked up to be.

Many years ago I worked for a very successful consulting firm.  Lots of young beautiful smart people charging clients lots of money.  Think LA Law.  One of the ladies I worked with was, for all intents and purposes, a clerk.  She processed payments and  benefits for a group of companies.  I remember being in meetings with her department and hearing the consultants encouraging her to take some courses and improve her position within the company.

“I’ll look into that” she would say.

At lunch in the bar (hey, don’t judge) we would find out that wasn’t exactly how she felt.  We discovered that she wasn’t really interested in “moving up”.  She was perfectly happy in her cubicle doing her routine, rather mundane job.

“I like what I do.  There’s no stress and I like the work.  Why would I want to change that?”

A small gasp could be heard around the table.  Who didn’t want to climb the ladder?

I recently took on a part-time temporary job. The woman I work with is the sole office worker for the company.  It’s a small office.  Well it’s not really an office.  It’s more of a workshop with two desks.  She brings her dog to work with her every day and enjoys the two months off every January when the business shuts down for winter. She is a smart cookie, but more importantly she seems to be able to handle any situation that is thrown her way.  Difficult customers, techs who don’t show up for jobs and an owner who is……challenging.  She is a problem solver extraordinaire .  She would be an asset to any customer service company.

As I drove home from work the other day I wondered if she was happy in her job.  Happy in her small “office” with her dog and the same routine every year.  Wasn’t she interested in taking the talent she had and maximizing it?  It got me thinking about my friend from years ago and whether or not pursuing the dream of a corner office and a “career” position is actually worth it or not.

Is it an outdated concept or have I just moved into a different demographic that just doesn’t care?  It seems to me that women these days are more interested in being able to enjoy life than they are donning a power suit and having their subordinates quaking in their boots.  We’ve all worked for one haven’t we?

working at home

In my search for my thing I know that the corporate world isn’t even a consideration.  I would much rather work in my den than have an office or a boardroom.  I would rather talk to my cat than have an assistant.  If I’m stuck with a difficult situation I would rather go for a run and figure it out than sit a computer and debate policy.

Would I like the salary of a corporate level job?  Absolutely.  I’m a bit lost but I’m not stupid.

So that’s what I’m thinking about these days.  The Best Thing in Life would be to know what all of you think.

PS:  The downside of returning to work is that I have no time to read all the other blogs out there or have coffee with any of my great friends.  My sincere apologies.

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One thought on “Climbing the Corporate Ladder

  1. camparigirl October 27, 2015 / 4:23 pm

    I have done both: climbed the corporate ladder at two different companies and then went to work for myself. Pros and cons on both sides. Lack of steady (and high) income is definitely one, as well as the social aspect of any corporate job (think about it: no more weird people to gossip about). Being able to set my time, working in my pjs if I so choose and take only jobs I want are all amazing perks. All in all, I am glad I did the corporate thing in my 20s/30s and some of my 40s. Wouldn’t like to be there now.

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