We live in a culture that views careers as a straight line in forward motion. There is even a phrase for what you are “supposed” to do throughout your career: climb the corporate ladder.
Ah yes, the corporate ladder.
We are all so familiar with this phrase that we don’t give much thought to it. We just absorb it into our vocabulary and assume we’ll do what it describes: Start at the bottom. Look up. And keep climbing through positions until we get to the most senior level possible.