When thinking about progressing in our careers we tend to talk about climbing a ladder, as if there is only one direction, the progress is linear and each step is the same size.
This may be the case for some but for the majority of people this analogy simply does not work.
Another way to look at your career is to think of it as if it were a climbing wall. If this analogy suits you better then here is a quick guide to climbing the ‘career wall’.
Rule One – Always be looking for the next step
As you climb, once you reach a “handhold” or “foothold”, immediately look for the next one. It’s the same way in your career. Once you reach where you wanted to get to, starting looking out straight away for the next opportunity or step.
Rule Two – Sometimes it is good enough just to get a knee up
Don’t wait for the perfectly positioned handhold or foothold. Sometimes you just have to accept that getting a ‘knee-up’ is good enough.
Rule Three – Ensure you remember to stretch yourself
You should always be stretching to reach the best next step, otherwise it is a slow journey to the top and you will use more energy! Conversely do be careful in attempting a handhold that is way out of reach. There is a balance that is important to find.
Rule Four – Sometimes a sideways move is ideal
Moving sideways isn’t necessarily a step back. Often it can lead to a much easier climb afterwards. Every move will need to be strategic, rather than just climbing straight up.
Rule Five – Be tactical!
If you come against a difficult patch and can’t see how to advance, take the time to bring in collaborators. Get others to help amplify your voice and help you to move things forward.