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Are promotions at work really just Ponzi schemes?

Follow your own goals.
Are promotions at work really just Ponzi schemes?
Photo credit: iStock

In some cases,  all that keeps you working at your current job is the promise of a promotion. But is your aspiration to climb the corporate ladder distracting you from achieving everything you can in your current role?

Many people today equate titles with success rather than professional fulfillment. Mike Steib, the CEO of XO Group and the author of the new book “The Career Manifesto” (out on January 30th), believes that promotions are nothing more than a Ponzi schemes to keep you from stretching the boundaries of your existing job title.

“Every system is designed in some way to keep you in the system,”  explains Steib, “promotions in any organization are a part of that. As you work your way through they continue to move you up and keep you a certain distance away from the next promotion so that you feel motivated for that next rung of the ladder.”

In actuality, if you are only setting your sights on the corner office rather than what you could do within your position, you will not be benefiting yourself or the company. You should work hard as hard as possible to accomplish everything you can and by doing that, all of the titles and compensation you desire will follow.    

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“A promotion is always a nice thing,” says Steib  “it’s a reflection of good hard work by the individual and it’s a compliment when you get one so you should take the compliment. At the same time, the purpose of any one of our careers is not to be promoted. There are none of us who are going to look back on our careers and our lives and think the most pivotal moment was when we went from assistant director to director. Instead, it’s going to be about the impact we had in our careers, the people that we helped, the challenges that we took on, and when we really pushed it and stretched ourselves to do hard things.”

In summation, having a successful career comes from hard work and dedication. You have to be extremely passionate and invested in the work you are doing in order to accomplish your goals.

At the end of the day, this is your career path. So make the most of it! The rest will follow the more you push yourself towards achieving your own goals and not some title that is just out of reach.