WHAT IS THE 'Corporate Ladder'

The phrase corporate ladder is a conceptualized view of a company's employment hierarchy in which career advancement is considered to follow higher rungs on a ladder, with entry-level positions on the bottom rungs and executive level positions at the top. "Climbing the corporate ladder" is a phrase used to describe one's advancement within a company through promotions.

BREAKING DOWN 'Corporate Ladder'

The higher an employee's position on the corporate ladder, the more difficult advancement becomes. An organization typically has many more lower, or entry-level, positions than it does management or executive positions.

What the Corporate Ladder Means to Workers

The action of advancing up the hierarchy within a company can follow numerous paths depending on the business’s structure. Some companies have a narrow path to promotion, making it a challenge for junior staffers to pursue moving upwards within the organization. This can also contribute to interpersonal conflicts in an office as each employee seeks a way to move up the ladder. For example, if there is no opportunity for middle management to rise to a higher position, it is plausible that those managers might be reluctant to assist workers in their own advancement. It may be more feasible to move higher within a company by switching to another department or section where there is more opportunity to take on leadership duties and responsibilities.

The pace at which one gets promoted in and of itself may be used by others to assess their talent and capability. Under such a perspective, the faster one climbs the corporate ladder is seen as a measure of the effort the individual is expected to put into their next position.

The role a person fills at a company can limit or increase the potential to rise higher on the corporate ladder. For instance, a worker who primarily handles administrative and clerical duties may not have an opportunity to take on the type of work that would merit consideration for an executive position. Furthermore, companies may be structured in such a way that only certain elements of the business even offer the possibility of advancement.

The corporate culture at a company may play a significant influence over who is elevated up the corporate ladder and what criteria is used to offer promotions. For example, some companies are more likely to promote workers who got their start at the business and have committed to the company for the breadth of their careers. Meanwhile other companies may look to professionals who have proven themselves at other companies and may offer them a higher-tier positions and salaries compared with their present employment.

  1. Laddering

    Laddering is the promotion of inflated pre-IPO prices for the ...
  2. Ladder Bottom/Top

    The ladder bottom and ladder top are five-candle reversal chart ...
  3. Corporate Hierarchy

    Corporate hierarchy refers to the arrangement of individuals ...
  4. Chain Ladder Method (CLM)

    The Chain Ladder Method (CLM) calculates the claims reserve requirement ...
  5. Annuity Ladder

    An annuity ladder is an investment strategy that entails the ...
  6. Bond Ladder

    A bond ladder is a portfolio of fixed-income securities in which ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Build a Bond Ladder to Boost Returns

    If you want a diversified portfolio and steady cash flow, check out the fixed-income strategy known as laddering. Learn how to create a bond ladder.
  2. Managing Wealth

    What Is A CD Ladder?

    Find out how a CD ladder can protect you from interest rate risk.
  3. Personal Finance

    The Toughest Corporate Ladders To Climb

    Which careers are the hardest to be promoted in? Here are some of America's toughest corporate ladders, and some tips on how to get ahead.
  4. Retirement

    Five Sources of Income for Your Retirement

    Generating income without going to work can be a murky concept. Find out how it works.
  5. Managing Wealth

    How To Create A Laddered CD Portfolio

    Laddered certificates of deposit offer safe capital and predictable cash flow, while bringing simplicity to your portfolio.
  6. Investing

    Strategies for Clients in Rising Rates Environment

    Any time there are rising rates it creates risks for investors. Fortunately, there are severa strategies that can help investors protect their portfolios.
  7. Investing

    6 Things Investors Can Do With Cash Under Trump

    Here are six ways for investors who are sitting on cash to invest during Trump's presidency.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Choosing a Profession In The Finance Industry

    In this article, we'll discuss the personal characteristics, education and training you need to obtain the profession you want in the financial industry.
  9. Personal Finance

    5 Reasons You Don't Want A Promotion

    Although no one wants to be in an entry level position forever, there are some important non-monetary considerations to consider before accepting a promotion.
Trading Center