Definitions of career success are highly personal and uniquely individual. Traditionally, career success was often defined as a series of upward moves; sequential promotions that carried increasing levels of responsibility. Two factors make that definition at odds with reality. First, not everyone aspires to a higher-level role. Management isn’t everyone’s goal. Additionally, as organizational structures flattened, upward opportunities became increasingly scarce, creating frustration when a career path or plan was too narrow and became blocked.

A broadened range of growth possibilities leads to more meaningful and rewarding career journeys. When employees widen their lens to view multiple ways to grow, they increase their commitment, enjoyment, and engagement with their career as well as the organization where that career unfolds. The organizational support for these more flexible career plans requires messaging and processes that encourage and reinforce a wide variety of growth options.

Rather than envisioning careers as ladders with rung after rung of promotions, imagining careers more like kaleidoscopes offering endless possibilities for learning, growth and exploration opens the door to greater flexibility and the opportunity for individuals to take ownership of their career paths.

The ever-changing world of work demands flexibility, mobility and resilience. When employees are ready to explore and organizations are ready to support that exploration, growth happens at the individual, team and organization levels. Everyone wins!

Redefine Career Success and Talent Mobility

Participants in Up Is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility will:

  • Identify benefits of ‘rethinking’ mindsets to support career mobility.
  • Examine what development and professional growth looks like in a changing world of work.
  • Evaluate how six types of experiences might be integrated into career plans.
  • Self-assess their readiness to adopt and act on a new career mobility mindset.

Your career is like a garden. It can hold an assortment of life’s energy that yields a bounty for you. You do not need to grow just one thing in your garden. You do not need to do just one thing in your career.

Jennifer Ritchie Payette

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