If you aspire to move up the corporate ladder, you might want to rethink that strategy a bit, considering how the workforce is these days. I hear from more workers who are frustrated that they either can’t move up in their organization or they don’t possess the skills or experience to do so. I came across a concept that I think addresses this dilemma: a career lattice, which is cross-disciplined and not just one area of specialization.
Typically, an employee would be known for one particular area in their work task, say project management, but often they can’t seem to do any more than be a project manager. They may be a darn good one, but if they have desires to move into another department or into management they could likely be boxed in to the PM title. “You don’t have the experience” is what they usually hear. So, a career lattice gives employees the opportunity to explore job activities in other departments throughout the organization, sort of like cross-training but at a larger scale level. This gives employees the chance to work and gain experience in a variety of activities and departments which builds their skills and makes them more valuable to the organization. Organizations wouldn’t have to look hard for the ‘right’ candidate as it would be one they created.
The lattice rests with the organization and would be individualized according to their structure and culture. Creating your own career lattice takes planning and assertiveness in your approach to your manager in discussing your intent and the proposed plan, as well as the benefits it will bring not only them but for you as well. From reading up on workplace issues, the trend is towards developing and retaining our Gen Y’s and a career lattice seems to be one they would embrace as it is broader and not just a straight shot up as has been the past way of thinking. The Millenials are changing the face of how we work so begin to embrace the newness; these ways of working apply to all levels of workers so it’s imperative to embrace this newness and learn to thrive in a different way.