career ladder

Are you giving enough thought to these overlooked aspects of your career?

There was a time when we thought of our careers as a ladder. We’d start at the bottom rung in an entry level position. Over time, our employers would recognise our hard work and endeavour and we would be given the training, development and opportunity to move up a rung. At the head of the ladder would be an executive level job and a gilded pension that would see you through to a happy retirement. These days, however, the lie of the land is very different. For today’s young people a career is not so much a ladder as an obstacle course made of barbed wire cargo nets and oil slicked monkey bars that can seem bewildering and scary at the point of entry.

Thus, to navigate your way to success, it’s no longer simply a matter of doing a great job and hoping that your endeavours will be noticed and rewarded. In the age of zero hours contracts and the sharing economy, we must think differently about our careers and spare a great deal of thought to those aspects of career development that have been overlooked by previous generations…

Planning for your retirement

If you’re just at the start of your career you may not necessarily be thinking about your retirement but this post will make for sobering reading if you haven’t given the subject any thought at all. When it comes to planning for your retirement, you’re never too young and you’re never too old. If your employer has a workplace pension take it! If they do not, it’s up to you to set up your own. Here are some good DIY pensions you can set up yourself if your employer does not offer one.


That old phrase “it’s who you know, not what you know”? While an oversimplification there’s certainly an element of truth to it. Networking is an important and oft-overlooked skill that you’ll need to master so that your name and face are the first that come into the minds of important people when a new opportunity becomes available. Networking events are fundamentally scary and cringe-inducing experiences, but the more of them you do the better you learn how to conduct yourself. Just be yourself without selling yourself and your personality and skills will shine through. There’s nothing more off putting to key decision makers than someone who’s trying too hard.

Being the best and staying the best

In a perfect world, our employers would give us regular training to ensure that we are always the best that we can be. Unfortunately, not all employers offer this to their employees. If this is the case, it’s up to you to put in the effort to be the best and stay the best. Read journals and periodicals so that you know what’s going on in your industry. Follow key people in your field on Twitter and read as many books as you can that are relevant to your job and your industry. In an increasingly competitive and cutthroat job market, nobody can afford to rest on their laurels.

Give these aspects of career development the time and effort they deserve and your endeavour will open doors for you. 

Have you given any thought as to whether you will start saving for your retirement as soon as your career begins? Letus know below.

Leave a Reply