The Age of the App: An Updated Career Model

The pressure created by the desire to have the perfect career in line after graduation is overwhelming. It creates an environment where often times, people are dissatisfied with where they are in terms of the achievements and personal successes. They compare themselves to their peers and find that they’re not as high on their “career ladder” as the person next to them.

This pressure is passed down from generation to generation and comes from an outdated, overworked business model.

Jenny Blake, author, blogger, and life coach, worked for Google in training, development, coaching and career development. She’d achieved so much by the age of 25 that she found herself incredibly unhappy in her life and with her work. Blake notes that her focus on climbing the professional ladder and meeting the expectations of her managers and peers burned her out and made her feel self-conscious.

Many people who experience what they believe to be the “perfect” job still find themselves unhappy and unproductive. Sick and vacation days are taken more frequently, the day begins with anxiety and dread, and yet people who feel this way often feel that they are spoiled, ungrateful or unintelligent.

Blake recalls hearing a quote from Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo!, which read “Manage your career like a pyramid, not a ladder.”

Imagining a pyramid, suddenly the professional world comes from a strong foundation and allows people to move more than just up a ladder. Suddenly professionals can now move around from field to field without having to feel the pressure of climbing only one ladder.

An updated take on the pyramid comes from Blake imagining her professional career as a smartphone—full of customized apps and different experiences that is strictly just for her. 

Image courtesy of The Tartan.