I first heard the term “lattice” replacing “corporate ladder” through The Center for a New American Dream.
Here is what many people experience when they think they want to climb up the corporate ladder: fierce competition, working ungodly hours, office politics, soul sucking cubicles, creativity crushing rules and loss of interest in their work.
Here is what working on the lattice can bring: purpose, value to others, collaboration, working on one’s own terms and exploring talents, skills and creativity to the fullest.
Let me first say that the corporate rat race isn’t like that all the time to all people. And corporate jobs can provide a nice financial backing, but for many people, they want out sooner rather than later.
So, with a small amount of investing, a healthy emergency fund and simple living, people are learning to jump off the corporate ladder to pursue more meaningful work. You can call it early retirement, semi-retirement or financial independence, but the lattice has become my word of choice.
The beauty of the lattice is that it can help those in the corporate rat race jump off sooner, rather than waiting for complete financial independence… or a complete health breakdown.
The lattice can be working part time, freelancing, creative pursuits, working for a non-profit, investing, landlording, tutoring, working overseas, working seasonally, homesteading, fixing or building, coaching … or maybe it is just taking time off between jobs such as sabbaticals or mini-retirements.
The lattice can help us slow down, live more mindfully and reduce our collective environmental footprint.
Living simply can get us off the ladder and over to the lattice much sooner, while enjoying life more.
I do admit though that we have a challenge on our hands with our modern corporate workforce. Many companies want ‘loyal’ full time employees instead of freelancers or part time workers. Employers question gaps on resumes. They seem to want to hire competitive people who want to move up the ladder. I’m hoping the Millennial generation will change this!
What are your thoughts? Do you think the corporations will start to change to offer more flexible working terms?
Where are you at in life? Are you on the corporate ladder, the lattice or FIRE’d?