Having worked in the recruitment industry for over 13 years I think I am well placed to talk about the different types of employees there are out there.

I wish I had better terms for the two distinct camps of people that I have met, time and time again.  Age does not really come into it.  Neither does it matter whether male or female.  There are two different types of individual.  The Career Climber and the Career Plodder. Now looking at these in more detail..

It would only be fair to give you an idea of the traits behind both – then you can identify yourself right?  But first let us refer to the dictionary for the definitions:

  • Plodder – Someone who moves slowly
  • Climber – A person who seeks a higher position

The Career Plodder:

You can spot these people.  They are the ones that do not put their hand up in meetings, they prefer to watch and observe.  They are usually smart but not overly well presented.  They have been in their role for ‘some time’ and maybe even the same business for ‘some time’.  They do not want to challenge peers or seniors on what is happening in their team or business.  You could even go as far as saying they are the ones that you can never remember their name…These individuals do not keep up to date with what is happening in their industry or their competitors.  Their resume is 5 years out of date and has their name in Font size 36 at the top of the document, probably in Bold Times New Roman.They would never consider looking for advice on how to get a new job (so they are not reading my blog!) Nor would they meet a recruiter to find out if their role and salary remain competitive.

They move along slowly.  If looking for a new job – the process moves along slowly.

The Career Climber:

These individuals look the part; smart and they have an inquisitive nature.  They are keen to find out what is happening in their team, the business, their competitors and industry.  They get involved in team meetings and proactively go to meet peers at networking events; building their professional contacts.  They are conscious that they need to be updating their resume with projects they have been involved in or things that they have done well.   They seek out new responsibilities at their performance review and probably annoy managers with their constant curiosity into how they can have their job.  The resume of this individual is uploaded on various job boards and showcased in their Linked In profile.  They are following companies they want to work for and get email alerts when positions come up.  They have a network of recruiters that understand their proposition and who they trust to keep them informed of new opportunties.

They are seeking a higher position.


It  should be said that you can swing between both plodder and climber consciously during your career – maybe at a time when you are studying or looking to take a break.  The difference here is being conscious of your actions.

I hope this gives you some insight into where you are at with your career.  The good thing is you can move up a gear, you can accelerate your job search and implement career climbing strategies.  Let me know if I can help you be a career climber.

What are your thoughts?