Careers are a jungle gym not a ladder

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”

—Sheryl Sandberg, Founder of LeanIn.ORg

Image of a jungle gym

Image from Indiamart

To what degree does your company or organization offer a well-defined career path?

Prior to entering the working world, many of us in the Baby Boomer generation experienced an educational system that was very linear and predictable. This approach won’t work for our 21st century workforce, and thankfully, things are changing.

For all of us, especially members of our younger generations, there will likely be far more zig-zagging, climbing, and leaping due to the exponential nature of change occurring in our world. Continuous learning of new and diverse skills will be an absolute necessity for motivated and hard-working people to reach the top levels in their chosen fields.


How can you, your colleagues and perhaps most importantly, your children and other young people be better prepared and engaged in navigating the jungle gyms of their current and future vocational playgrounds?

“Change Before You Have To.”

“Change before you have to.”

-Jack WelCh, retired chairman and CEO of General Electric

Click on the image to order from

Click on the image to order from

The current U.S. unemployment rate is in the area of 5.5%. Given the numbers from the past 5 – 7 years, this is a vast improvement.

Despite the multiple thousands of available jobs, many organizations are experiencing tremendous difficulty finding qualified individuals for the positions they have open.

What might the unemployment rate be if every open position were filled? What would it take for people to be qualified for such careers?

Unfortunately, because people can be resistant or reluctant to change, many discover that their previous “valuable” skills are either less valuable, or considered irrelevant in the current business world. Technology, outsourcing, and off-shoring are three factors among many that contribute to the elimination of many positions that were once considered good jobs.

The classic little business book, Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson, M.D., points to this all-too-frequent occurrence, which is now happening at unprecedented speed.


How can you embrace and proactively generate the needed changes in your skills and abilities to not only remain relevant, but to be uniquely qualified and highly desirable for the jobs of the future?

Where can and will you change and evolve in your personal life to keep up with and stay attuned to the world around you?

“Instead of wondering when…”

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

-Seth Godin, American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker

photo from

photo from

The point of today’s quote is the main reason I am a coach today. Over 23 years ago, when I was working in sales and marketing for a well-known pharmaceutical company, I realized my inner voice was saying things like:

  • Thank God it’s Friday!
  • I don’t want to wake up and go to work!
  • When will this be over?
  • I can’t wait to go on vacation!
  • Oh, No! Monday is coming!

Of course, I’m being a bit dramatic. Still, as many as 70% of working professionals feel and say similar things to themselves and perhaps to others in their lives.


Should you see yourself or others in the thoughts above, find the courage to challenge yourself to redesign your life and career. You may find yourself looking forward to getting home from vacation, so you can get back to the exciting life you have designed.

Feel free to reach out to me if I can be of assistance. Write to me at: