How the playground provides helpful information for your career

Last week I had a coaching session with a woman who works at one of the big banks in London. She had been offered a new job and wasn’t sure whether she wanted to accept it.

We explored the new job along her core values and skills. That looked pretty good.
She would also get more exposure, something she’s missing in her current role.

But despite these ‘ticks’, she still wasn’t sure.

It made me even more curious and I kept ‘digging’ with powerful questions. Then my client found out that she is doubting, because this job opportunity deviates from the standard career path within her bank.

The perspective of the climbing frame

At one point I asked her if she knew the perspective of the ‘climbing frame’ from the book ‘Lean Inwritten by Sheryl Sandberg.

This book discusses the idea that a career is not a ladder, but a climbing frame.

Career coaching women

Ladders are too limited: you can only move up or down, on or off.
You can explore a climbing frame in a more creative way (up, side, down etc.). You can reach the top in many ways and the path doesn’t have to be fully defined.


I saw my client’s face brighten up when I mentioned this perspective. She told me ‘Lean in’ is one of her favourite books and the idea of the climbing frame totally resonates with her.

She laughed about the fact that it’s much more enriching to learn new skills than just staring at the bottom of a grey man above her. All the more because ‘exploring’ is one of her core values.

It was clear to her that she wanted to accept the job offer.

What opens up for you?

We probably have to work until we are 70, so we can better make it as interesting and fun as possible.

So, whenever you are doubting about a career move I hope you will explore the climbing frame yourself to see what will open up for you.

Have a great week!

With She does it I support women to move forward with their career. Curious how you could benefit from my coaching as well? Just make an appointment for a free ‘chemistry session’. Of course this conversation is both entirely  confidential and without obligation. 

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