How Rigid is the Hierarchy in Your Publishing Workplace?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka


By Edward Nawotka

Like academia, publishing can be a rigorously hierarchical business where the adjective before your titles — be it associate or assistant, senior or executive — can make all the difference in your day-to-day life, not to mention your income. Being on the top means you can get your way; being on the bottom means a life of playing follow-the-leader and waiting patiently for your opportunity — your big break, your lucky shot. Or at least that’s the cliche. The reality is different in every workplace. Perhaps you are being mentored, groomed for something more…

In today’s lead story about US expats working abroad, Natasha De Bernardi — a Swiss-based foreign rights agent for Wiley — mentions that in Europe, titles don’t quite matter as much. “Somebody may have ‘assistant’ in their title and be theoretically less important, but they have a wide range of responsibilities and are able to do more work in different areas,” she says.

So, how important is hierarchy in your workplace? Is it rigid and inflexible or is it loosey-goosey? Do you feel you have a good working relationship with your bosses and managers or are you stifled in your role?

Tell us your thoughts and experiences in the comments below and share your thoughts on the subject via Twitter using #ppdiscuss.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.