from Fast Company
It used to be that the only way to climb a career ladder was to pick up more skills. Learn how to do X, get paid more for it, and earn job-title Y. Up you went. Each new capability you mastered got you to that “next level,” either inside your current company or at a different one. Today, many of those ladders have fallen and shattered, with just a few left standing. Lately there have been efforts to hammer together some new ones, with new skills—usually tech-based—like cybersecurity or coding expertise held up as the new keys to staying competitive in the future job market.
That isn’t exactly wrong. Some skill sets really are in higher demand than others, so it makes sense to counsel undergrads and entry-level workers to brush up in certain subject areas in order to gain an edge. But this kind of advice still reflects a “ladder-climbing” mind-set in a world that’s looking a lot more like a lattice, where talent—and people’s entire careers—are much more fluid.
In order to move up, over, side to side, and double back when you need to, all while making your way upward, the trait you need most is adaptability, not this or that tech skill. And there’s no way to adapt if you don’t have a great network you can tap from the get-go.