The career ladder is dead But the career ‘web’ may be far more daunting

Source: BBC News

By Alina Dizik

When Nina Cheng graduated from university less than a decade ago, she didn’t think she’d be selling fox fur iPhone cases for upwards of $350. Working in three different industries – banking, consulting and fashion – before starting her fur accessories business gave her new insight on how to navigate her career.

Tired of the lack of freedom that accompanied elite banking and private equity jobs, she set out on her own to give herself more control over her career. “Starting out [during a recession], I was grateful to have work at all,” says Cheng, founder of Wild and Woolly, a New York-based company which sells phone cases and earrings. Later, she needed “complete freedom to explore other options.”

Pursuing fashion, Cheng made the leap from the corporate world to entreprenuership. Changing careers seemed exhausting at first, but having an overarching goal of sampling different industries – and ruling them out – helped her deal with the fatigue.

For many, it seems the career ladder is dead, but what’s replacing it may be more daunting. A career web, or lattice, is a professional path where lateral moves are as important to a worker’s end goal as traditional promotions and upwards mobility.

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