Upward Mobility is a Lie

I have too much fun relating everything to pyramid schemes

Senior Brogrammer


Every organization has some sort of career ladder. Usually, it’s titles/numbers on a chart that show upward mobility with gaps in between to make you work toward something. Guess what? You’ll take that org chat like the bitch you are too. It’s ok, though, it wouldn’t be fun if I had nothing to bitch about.

At some point in these charts, a split will have to occur. Generally, in management, this happens the most. Find multiple people to report to you or replace what you currently do. This will allow you to move up to the next stage. In simplest terms, instead of overlooking eight people directly, you’ll want two managers who manage those eight people reporting to you. The implication is more responsibility because two teams of people are encompassed by the proxy managers you’re in charge of. Of course, it doesn’t break down this cleanly in reality.

Assuming everyone is attempting to do this because cocaine is expensive, when does this nonsense stop? If it doesn’t explain how this organizational pyramid below is any different than a standard pyramid scheme.

Tell me it’s not a pyramid scheme that everyone can move up. And I’ll show you a pyramid of everyone moving up.

Therefore, upward mobility is a bit of a lie since most schemes only benefit those at the top. It incentivizes an impossible scenario that everyone is going to rise. That’s not how this works. That’s now how any of this works.

It’s time to bring everyone down to reality. All companies stop growing. Even so, they need people to do the work, leaving a limited number of spots.

While it’s depressing to hear you won’t be successful in life for many reasons, it shouldn’t matter how much up you go. Success isn’t defined by a class system implemented in workplaces. It might be cool to have a title, an office, and not spend time with family, but that isn’t for everyone.

Yes, it’s a lie. Companies shouldn’t frown upon people who are good at their job, but they do. It’s actually who ends up being laid off or squeezed out. Which kind of kills the pyramid a little bit, but life continues.

Don’t stress it. You’re either going to be on the up and up or not. The Peter Principle works, believe it or not, but we don’t support those who cap out on it.

This is utter bullshit since rising to the top is glorified snake oil salesmen. It's ironic because they usually sell pyramids, too.

Thanks for the read.