Sunday, July 21, 2019

Non-linear = Success

(an oldie but a goodie from this post)

I love learning and hearing about leadership and mentorship, and happily accepted an invitation to attend the DC Women's Leadership Summit a couple weeks ago. Since I co-chair a leadership symposium for military women, I thought it would be interesting to see a civilian take. It was great! It's amazing how universal the concepts of resilience, mentorship, leadership and balance are across all facets of work.  

Monica Schmude from CIGNA had a great presentation on Women in Leadership, a study commissioned by her company. Emerging from the study was the theme that "Career progression is a jungle gym. More than 8 in 10 female business leaders agree that career progression isn't, and shouldn't be, thought of as linear." (see helpful graphic, not from the study, above)

This confirms a long time theory that I have - that anyone who lays out a career plan for you with incremental steps, in a single path, is not to be trusted. Who can know all the ups and downs and jinks left and right that the world, your work, and your personal life can take? No one. NO ONE. And who's to say that that single path is the path that you will find fulfilling anyway? 

Monica shared another interesting fact about the speed of information right now. Whatever knowledge you attain to be relevant now, only 50% of that knowledge will apply in 5 years, and in 10 years, current knowledge will be obsolete. OUCH. That was my first response. My second thought was, "Hey, I can go do something new and can catch up." 

Soft skills (leadership, mentorship, resilience) will always transfer, but specific industry knowledge - that's open for anyone. Nuclear engineering, here I come - hah!

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