If you are between the ages of 20 and 40–known as Generation X–there is a major roadblock standing in your career path, according to FORTUNE magazine.
The magazine tags it as “The Gray Ceiling” and goes on to declare that “A generation of younger workers can’t get ahead…because the (baby) boomers above them won’t budge.”
“In today’s leaner companies, executive jobs are fewer, and boomers who have hung on to them are in no hurry to let go,” FORTUNE concludes. In fact, one survey found that nearly half of them are planning to work past 64.
“The senior managers in their 40s and 50s are paranoid about keeping their jobs, so they do everything they can to keep you down,” says a Generation X ad executive.
How To Break Through “The Gray Ceiling
There are seven steps you can take to break through “The Gray Ceiling.”
1. Address this urgent issue now. Move on to a new job if you are working in a company or industry that does not require a steady infusion of up and coming managers. If you do not leave recognize that your career opportunities will be slow to come, at best, and non-existent at worst.
2. Master your present job. Expand your knowledge and skills so you are ready to handle a bigger job.
3. Have a strategic plan for your career; include timelines. Share your goals with your boss; let him know you are working to be promoted.
4. Make your boss look good, so he will be promoted, opening a rung on your career ladder. Solve problems that are giving him fits.
5. Make sure your accomplishments are recognized by those above you who can advance your career. Promote yourself as you would a product.
6. Expand your network of contacts inside and outside the organization.
7. Push for increased responsibilities.
“The Gray Ceiling” is not going away any time soon. Begin to deal with it today.