Progression and perspective: career steps & leaps

Is there a link between progression and perspective?

Imagine that you’re in a tall round tower. Think of Rapunzel’s tower but probably not quite so isolated. There may be other similar ones around.

You’re looking out of a window towards the landscape around you. The view is certainly nothing to complain about.  But you’ve been here a while and it’s lost much of its initial appeal. Some of the intricacies that once excited and impressed you, you now take for granted.

You’re no longer sure you’re looking through a clear window pane. It’s not exactly distorting what you see, but it’s perhaps leaving it a little blurred.

In short, you’re ready for a new view. A clearer and more interesting one. If you’re really honest with yourself this may be long overdue!

mountain with trail down side with blue diamond logo

How did you get here?

Rather than climbing the metaphorical career ladder, think instead of the career spiral staircase. You stepped onto the staircase when you entered the tower through the door at the base of the tower.

Some people start at the bottom and slowly work their way up the staircase, one step at a time. The windows at the bottom are so small and give so little light, one can hardly see anything though them at all. Perspective and progression are limited

You heard on the rumour mill that some of the people at the top were parachuted in from outside, but you’re not sure if that’s just a myth.

Like many of your peers, you arrived with some previous experience and credentials, so you climbed a fair way up the tower on day one, without even realising it. You used the lift on this occasion to get to your starting point.

How useful it would have been to have known this so you could have planned your entry point better!

person climbing steps in bright red shoes with blue diamond logo

Each role that you’ve taken on since has been at a slightly higher level, with more responsibility and a slightly different view. You’ve always been looking out at the same general direction though, quite normal for each function.

It’s possible to complete several different roles on the same level.  This is when you step off the staircase onto a platform, with the windows each pointing to a slightly different direction. The view isn’t ever 360 though – that’s reserved for the people at the top of the tower – but the windows do seem to be getting wider the higher you climb.


Perspective and progression

The idea is that as you progress in your career, you proceed up the spiral staircase, taking in the views at each level and getting as many different perspectives as you can. This will help to equip you for increasingly senior roles as you reach them.

Greater perspective and progression are definitely linked.

Some people find a place they like (or at least tolerate) and stay put for a while.

Staying put generally requires limited effort. The risk is that people become comfortable and complacent where they are and ultimately their skills and perspectives could become obsolete.

Sometimes these same people then move on slowly up the staircase or take a quick exit, down the fireman’s pole. Occasionally they get shown out of the emergency exit, against their own volition.

Enough about others, what about you?!

steps in a forest area with blue diamond logo

Steps and leaps

You’re bored of your view.

I know, a little boredom can be good at times. It can drive us to take action. It can sometimes even help us to think more creatively.

The step up to the next level doesn’t look much higher – you feel you’re already operating at this level anyway – but it seems impossibly difficult to get to. You’ve tried a couple of different attempts but no luck so far.

There are days that you think it’s worth the effort to stay and continue trying to get to the next level and there are other days that you contemplate taking a leap.

Leaps can be internal: to another part of the tower or a sister tower. These often have a different view and sometimes come with a different level too. You could investigate what opportunities there could be for you.

Leaps can also be external: sometimes completely into the unknown, but often they are onto other similar towers with similar structures and staircases. Sometimes the people are even the same ones you’ve worked with before. Or at least very similar!

You’ve even heard stories where people have been rescued by others or helped along their journey by people they know. These opportunities sound amazing to you. However, you’ve been around enough to know that each tower has its own ambiance though and sometimes it’s better the devil you know.

footprints in sand with blue diamond logo

“Why am I still here?”

You regularly ask yourself.

What felt secure and comfortable, now feels tedious and frustrating.

It’s now time for a move. A step or a leap. You want to be in control of this move, if you can.

You’re not alone in your tower, but you are alone in your own particular pursuit.

Yet, you do not have to take this journey alone.

If you could befit from a neutral sounding board book your no-strings Career Discussion today to explore options further.


Thanks for reading. Check out other Blue Diamond articles to help you take control of your work and life.