By Angela (Ceresnie) Prince, former Climb CEO
Things are changing when it comes to how all of us approach our career goals.
No longer are people expected to stay at one company for 30+ years, climbing up the linear corporate ladder from their entry level job before retirement. Instead, we are now making more dynamic moves. Sometimes laterally, to different, more fast-growing companies and adding new skills to our resume along the way to keep up with the constantly-changing technology. In fact, Gallup recently reported “a crucial finding, though, was the top-ranked reason for considering or taking a new job. When U.S. workers are seeking new jobs, they want to do what they do best.”
Or — in some cases — we completely switch careers during our journey to find something more fulfilling or lucrative. In all of these scenarios, it’s clear that modern career climbing is no longer a ladder. Now, growing a career is more like climbing a rock wall — requiring strategic and often indirect moves rather than a traditional vertical climb.
The best aspect of this new, modern career climb is how it can be different for all of us. There is no “one size fits all” way to find success in our career, just as there is no one way to reach the top of a rock wall.
During my time at Climb, I’ve had the honor of seeing first-hand how many people find success through switching careers paths or by continuing their education to reach the next level in their current careers. One story that comes to mind is a heavy-equipment graduate, Elliott, who had an MBA and a conventional job, but was not satisfied with his career. He wanted to find something he was passionate about, not just a career that paid the bills. Eventually, he graduated from one of our partner schools—heavy Equipment Colleges of America—and is now working as a crane operator making almost double his previous job.
Another great example is Climb’s former Partner Success Manager’s Anna.
“Starting out on the Student Success team at Climb opened my eyes to the challenges and achievements of the learners we serve. By speaking with learners on a daily basis and adapting to offer support under difficult circumstances, I was able to expand my knowledge of what student lending really looked like.
I was fortunate enough to use these skills to make the move to our recruiting team, where I met so many talented people, some of whom are now working alongside me at Climb. In continuing to grow my knowledge base, my most recent career move has been to our Partnerships team where my firsthand knowledge of the learner experience has become an asset when partnering with schools who are dedicated to changing the lives of their learners.”
For years, the education industry has promoted the idea of “life-long learning” and “continuing education”. Especially today, with the effects of COVID-19 on our job market, we see many people go to online short-term classes that can help them earn credentials to build up their resumes and land a job. In fact, since May we’ve seen Climb applications to finance accelerated career exploration, transformation, and upskilling courses steadily grow month over month.
Highlighting these types of career paths and promoting alternative pathways for education and career advancement can help all of us when trying to take the next step in our careers to understand the wide array of opportunities available. The trend of lifelong learning is just truly beginning, and all of us in the Education community have the opportunity to continue innovating and enabling people to make that climb.