A non-linear career development path is something organisations are very bad at. We think it is moving from one role to another (similar level) across departments. Yes, that too but a non-linear career looks like this and it is bad news for organisations.
- You are a waiter in a regular restaurant. Your goal is to be the best waiter. Then
- You move to a fine dining restaurant to be the best waiter there. Then
- You join a Michelin-star restaurant and you become the best waiter there. Your money is already doubled and probably earning more than the supervisor in the regular restaurant (where you started and told you will get promoted) without the hassle of managing people. Then
- Your goal is now to work in the world's best restaurant and be the best waiter there. Then
- Because of all your accolades, now you niche down and look to be hired by millionaires for their yachts or private residences. You earn way more than a restaurant manager at the world's best restaurant and can work seasonally. You got your work-life balance too.
As you can see, your profile, confidence, worth, and expertise all have grown without the hassle of heading up the career ladder where you would have stopped doing what you do best.
Staying in your lane, doing what you love and at the best at is the blueprint for a non-linear career path which is hard to provide at organisations.
It is in the hand of the employee. Maybe that is why I hardly ever see a plan like that. However, L&D can provide support to achieve each step and move to the next one. Isn't that just beautiful?
Money is in your niche, what you do the best not in the positions corporations can offer.
PS: You can do that with any role. Have fun and plan that career path if you love what you do and are really good at it.