On Not Climbing the Corporate Ladder

If you want to see my first (and to date only) Kickstarter project that I’ve funded checkout I’m Fine, Thanks. The quote that resonated with me (and conveniently has to do with this article) is the following:

You’re climbing the ladder and you get the the top and you find out you have it leaned up against the wrong wall.

Old Synergasm Post

Originally published February 5, 2012

People are taught that if they prepare themselves well in college, they’ll be able to start the endless trek of climbing the corporate ladder. There are few common misconceptions, though.


  • The first rung can sometimes be quite high; while an entry level position allows one to grasp on, you have to be strong enough to pull yourself up…otherwise you fall off. Pulling oneself up is always where the most opportunity is; you’ll learn a ton! Embrace this change!
  • They don’t tell you that while you can climb up a portion of the ladder yourself, you’ll eventually reach up to grasp that next level and realize that there’s a missing rung! No matter how hard you reach for that elusive next rung, it’s impossible to get there…unless there’s someone that already resides above that rung and is willing to reach down and help pull you up! The extent of you climbing versus other people pulling depends on how many rungs are missing; which is dependent on your company’s culture.
  • The third big misconception is that it’s not really a ladder anymore; builders realized long ago that when working on a large project it’s much more efficient to use scaffolding vs. a ladder. This means that if a rung is missing above where you’re currently located, try taking a step or two to the right and then reaching up again. Vertical moves can be frustrating, but sometimes they’re necessary. Be careful though, sometimes scaffolding isn’t very stable and you certainly don’t want to fall down!
  • Rachel on Sep 09, 2013 Reply

    On 3rd misconception, horizontal, not vertical, moves are frustrating as you stay at the same level without climbing but change where you are on that same level.