HR Policies & Procedures

Myths about Moving Up

There are several myths about career advancement. Companies would do well to acknowledge and avoid playing into these myths in order to recruit and retain employees.

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What Candidates and Employees May Not Want

Survey after survey shows that job candidates want career opportunities. This is sometimes interpreted as career advancement.

However, the truth is not every person wants to climb the career ladder. Instead, some people want to learn and grow in the job. Others may be interested in lateral moves.

Not every individual is cut out for management, and all that it entails. Others with management experience may have decided to opt out of a managerial role. Similarly, if career advancement means travel or long hours not all job candidates and employees will be interested.

Still other job candidates and employees are happy to do a job they like, and to keep doing it. Period.

The myth, in this case: Everyone wants career advancement. The reality: Not everyone wants to advance in his or her career.

What Candidates and Employees May Want

On the other hand, a candidate or employee may crave career advancement. He or she may be eager for the next role – and the role after that.

Nevertheless, the person may not have the right stuff for the role. The candidate or employee may lack skills, experience, and/or he or she may not have the temperament for the job.

Is it possible that the candidate or employee may one day be ready for the next role? Perhaps. Right now, though, the person isn’t qualified.

The myth, in this case: A candidate or employee seeking career advancement is a good fit for the job. The reality: Not everyone who wants to advance has what it takes for the next step.

What Companies May Not Offer

Because job seekers often look for career opportunities, which employers correctly or incorrectly correlate with career advancement, companies sometimes promote career paths where, in reality, none exist.

This is misleading, and it has the potential to impact job satisfaction, brand reputation, and employee retention.

The myth, in this case: Every company should tout career advancement. The reality: Not every company offers upward mobility.