This Week's Herman Trend Alert

HR in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 21, 2001

Hop Scotch

In the future, we'll be managing our careers differently. The change has already begun.

The linear career-path model, with workers climbing the corporate ladder rung by rung, is over. An increasing number of people is disenchanted with the old model of staying in one career path, with one company, or on one corporate ladder. People want more flexibility and more creativity in their career designs.

We're moving to a 'hopscotch' model. Workers will jump forward, backward, laterally --- or into a whole new path. Money and power are not the prime motivators that they once were. Job satisfaction, freedom, the chance to make a difference --- these are the new career drivers. Employees will make choices about how much they'll be engaged by a job while they're there, even as they reposition themselves for their next moves.

A hop-scotch approach will replace linear career pathing. Climbing the corporate ladder won't be cool anymore. Workers may take a hop forward in their careers, or they may take a lesser job to do the kind of tasks they prefer. Or they may jump sideways to a different career or different employer. With plenty of opportunities, expect workers to change careers frequently to experiment, learn, and experience.

With portable benefits, and workers' packages individually designed, people

will be even more free to move from job to job, employer to employer, career to career.

People don't all aspire to be managers --- they want to be doers, and this will change corporate hierarchies. Companies will have to prove that management jobs offer added value to the individual as well as to the company.

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