Shopify rethinks the career ladder

Forget about climbing the career ladder, Big Tech just wants you to do the work. 

What happened: Shopify is revamping its compensation structure to reward individual contributors with the same financial incentives that benefit those in management positions. It will be up to employees to decide whether to pursue a manager or “crafter” career track. 

  • So-called crafters are non-managers who work in a variety of functions such as engineering, product development, or fulfilment and delivery, per The Globe and Mail. 

Catch-up: Young workers are often told that in exchange for their sanity, sweat, and tears, they’ll land a cushy management title, with compensation to match. That hierarchy can stop high-performing people with no interest in management from moving up in their careers. 

  • “Some of our most talented crafters were burdened by the managerial tax, which distracted them from building and shipping,” according to Shopify’s chief HR officer.

Why it matters: Removing the burden of management from “crafters” without hurting their earning potential signals a shift in priorities for product-focused companies. As firms battle to create products and become more efficient, they want their top talent focused on “the work.” 

Zoom out: Last month, Meta also asked many of its managers and directors to transition to individual contributor jobs (or leave) as it tries to make 2023 its “Year of Efficiency.”