The Ladder No More
Last week, I attended an event with Pamela Mitchell, the CEO and founder of The Reinvention Institute and the author of the new book The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention. The session was spectacular, and had numerous inspiring piece of advice. But on thing she said made my brain swell and made me think in a way very little has recently.
There is no such thing as the career ladder anymore. It’s a lattice!
Think about that. I’ve grown up believing there was one straight path to the top. Our parents’ generation often started with one company and retired with that same company, climbing the ladder as high as they could. But for our generation, things are different. There are many pathways to the top of the lattice, many industries, many jobs, many steps. But you don’t just have to climb upwards. You might get to a place you’re comfortable, but get bored and be ready to try something new. Maybe that’s when you move sideways on the lattice. Or maybe there’s a time when in order to get ahead, you need to take a step down on the lattice. But stepping to the side or back a bit doesn’t take you off the track or out of the race, and instead, it might give you time and perspective and energy to climb harder toward your goal.
I hope this notion is as revolutionary to you all as it was to me. It changed the way I think about the path of my career.