Walk this way

We all start our careers walking between tall buildings.

In the beginning, we are given a stable ramp to walk on – with a covering above to shelter us from the elements and from our own fear. The ramp is wide enough to walk comfortably, allowing for a misstep here or a misstep there. Several people walk this ramp beside us.

As we walk along, things start to change. The overhead shelter narrows down and disappears, exposing us to the fickle moods of the weather. Come rain or come shine, we are expected to keep walking on the ramp. To keep making progress. We have fewer people walking with us now.

The ramp then thins down to a beam and eventually to a tightrope. The stability and security of the ramp gives way to the risk and the tension of this rope, exposed to the cold wind and the driving rain. Very few people walk this rope, but a mistake here could mean certain disaster.

As we move up the career ladder, our responsibility and job-security are inversely correlated. This could imply a few things:
– The sooner you get onto the tight rope, the more trust you are building, and the more crucial you are to your employer
– Typically, it takes a while to walk the tight rope in big organizations, while it is relatively quicker with start-ups. If you found your own company, you are walking the tight rope from the very first day
– If the ramp stays wide and secure for too long, beware. This means that your job is stable, but it also means that anybody else on that street, or from the other side of the world, could easily take your place on the ramp

The tightrope

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