This article examines the objective and subjective aspects of managerial careers in six large firms that have experienced organizational restructuring. We begin by assessing the dominant models of change in career structures, particularly those which emphasize the ‘portfolio’ route to career success. Although elements of the bureaucratic career remain, we find some evidence of the shift predicted by these models amongst the younger generation of managers. However, it is striking that not all young managers are able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new career model. Indeed, cultural capital has an increasing impact on career achievement. Younger managers are responding by reorienting away from organizational loyalty towards a concern with individual career projects.