Careers and Jungle Gyms

It feels like I have been taking a break from things. I don’t know if it’s accurate to call it procrastination because I simply ignore my tasks until they ‘fall’ off my list. This blog was meant to be my mental fridge but it fell of my list. Well, it feels like my mind is constantly getting cluttered yet I choose to ignore the signs and not blog. I must get better. Hmph!!

Anyway, I recently had a health scare which included surgery and plenty of recuperation time. My super friendly workmate ‘gifted’ me a whole bag of magazines: health, housekeeping, fitness – to keep me occupied while I was a convalescent. Surprisingly, I did get around to reading the magazines and shockingly, I gained sprinkles of wisdom and ‘aha’ moments.

I was reading Claire and I stumbled onto an interview with Equinox President, Sarah Robb O’Hagan. My initial impression was here we go, another woman who has ‘shattered the glass ceiling’. As I continued reading the interview, I was drawn more to her and I realized how intuitive, and business savvy she is. No wonder she is the Equinox President.

One mantra of her in particular jumped out at me. She was talking about her career track and how it wasn’t always vertical. At one point, she discusses how to she took a shot to work with Nike, even though it seemed like a career regression. Hence her wisdom: Careers are more like jungle gyms than ladders—sometimes a sideways or backward step can propel you forward.
Imagine that! It totally blew my mind! You see, I have been having internal struggles with the same issue last year. I switched jobs and I now work and an extremely lucrative place that I have been eyeing for quite some time. Problem is, it seems like a total career regression and 98% of the time I sure as hell don’t know what I am doing. Honestly, it is depressing at times.

Think about it, we have been programmed to think that the only way is up, and never sideways or vertical. Well thank you Sarah for challenging my assumptions and beliefs on career. I now believe that I am in my jungle gym and this seemingly backward move is going to propel me much further than being on a vertical ladder.

I know there are millions (maybe thousands) like me who feel exactly the same way. Hopefully this will inspire us all to look at the big picture and propel ourselves in our career jungle gyms.

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