From Ladder to Lattice: How the Economy Changed the Meaning of Career Growth

In many ways, the recession was a wakeup call for corporate America. As companies cut back their workforces, those remaining were asked to do more with less. Now, we’re all expected to be generalists, not only willing, but capable of learning across the organization. We have to ease effortlessly into new roles and responsibilities while expanding on our already-existing skill sets, regardless of our official job description or title. And according to Joanne Cleaver, titles aren’t even really relevant anymore; they fall short in conveying the full spectrum of a person’s skills and experience.

In other words, the career ladder is gone and the emerging model is the lattice.

Cleaver’s new book, The Career Lattice: Combat Brain Drain, Improve Company Culture, and Attract Top Talent is her guide to strategic lateral moves, compiled after conducting dozens of interviews and case studies on how individuals and employers can grow and thrive in a slow-growth economy. The book couldn’t have been possible without Cleaver’s research partner,

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