To build a successful career, you need to be ambitious, right? This commonly held belief is only partially true, and even then, being too ambitious could actually ruin your career rather than make it flourish. There’s this dream job that you have been eyeing for most of your early years, but once you get it, you realize that this may not be what you really wanted. Of course, nobody talks about it because everybody is wearing a mask and playing out a role. Image preservation is important in today’s world, to the extent of remaining in a job that makes you miserable.
Your ambition could lead you to get promoted out of what you are most skilled at and into an area you have no aptitude for. The career ladder does not consider people’s abilities; it is one straight, and often a lonely way up. What happens when you find that, when driven by ambition, you can reach a place you did not want to end up in? Stepping down is not a viable option since it is perceived as a demotion, killing all subsequent chances of moving in the direction you want. However, you can step sideways and take a parallel path, doing what you want, and not just what others want you to do.