To Climb Up the Ladder or Not?

This is Part 4 of the Social Hierarchies Series

As with any structure, there is always a form of categorization and strata which separates people from each other as defined by their functionality, prominence, and importance. In several instances, there is a possibility to jump from a lower level to a higher one.

First off, it is a rather messy and complicated and time-consuming prospect, and we’re not even sure if it’s worth the effort. What are the things you need to do in order to be able to qualify for a “promotion”?

It’s also a quirky territory to tread on, since the jump differs massively from one hierarchy to another, and more so about the requirements you need to have with you. I listed down below several general truths about hierarchies. Note that these are all generalizations and may or may not fit with the hierarchy.

  1. The more prestigious the hierarchy is, the harder it is for you to climb. You should be aware of this one already. More prestigious hierarchies invite more brilliant individuals also vying for the jump you’re eyeing on. This truth applies to the academic hierarchies (Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard), scientific hierarchies (Royal Society), and showbiz hierarchies (Hollywood).
  2. Larger hierarchies are much more challenging to climb. A smaller mountain is easier to climb than Mt. Everest, seriously. A hierarchy’s size is a major factor in determining the probability of you being able to climb. This truth applies to international hierarchies and companies.
  3. Prominence may dictate your shot. Famous persons are usually treated specially, be it in a company or club. Special people are generally at the upper levels thanks to the prominence factor that they have.

Given that you had been presented with the opportunity to climb up and you have all the requirements you need to do so, will it be worth climbing up?

There are reasons why you should and shouldn’t take the risk and jump. I grouped the reasons and hope you have a good idea on what you should do.

Reasons why you should jump.

  • A jump, or promotion in other hierarchies, is a good opportunity to show off your developed and innate skills. It may be a research or a highly coveted movie role, but whatever it is, it provides a path towards the higher levels of the structure.
  • Further, climbing up can provide a greater financial benefit, meaning that you can afford more luxuries than before.
  • A promotion also allows you access to managerial roles and test your abilities as a leader.
  • More services are also available to you since you are in a higher level than before.
  • Authorities also treat you as more capable of handling the tasks they give to you.
  • You can explore a broader area of the structure than before.

Reasons why you shouldn’t jump.

  • More responsibilities are given to you and higher expectations are demanded.
  • More taxing tasks are assigned to you and you are expected to work them through excellently.
  • You become a member of a planning team and are expected to perform well.
  • Your work and performance are subject to more scrutiny both by those above you and below you.
  • More attention, time, and effort are demanded from you, especially during particularly busy time periods.
  • It’s risky. One too many false moves and you’re basically out of the hierarchy (if it’s hostile) or you’re demoted and generally shamed (if it’s beneficial).

As you may have observed, the reasons why you shouldn’t jump revolve around your performance, time, and effort, especially with sensitive work and event preparations. However, granted that you are a natural when it comes to leadership and excellent workmanship, then these shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s also worth assessing your purpose on taking the jump and climbing up. It’s okay if it’s for self-gain, especially with the financial aspect, as long as you don’t come off as manipulative and coercive. It is good to note that climbing up a beneficial hierarchy usually provides much better opportunities and experiences.

When you do decide to climb, remember that the state of your subordinates define the state of the quality of your work, regardless of whether they directly or indirectly affect your work. Keeping a good eye on them will prove useful.

Stay tuned for the next installment in the Social Hierarchies series!