Am I weird for not wanting to move up the ladder?


I’m currently in my 30s, have a good career at a prestigious company, and make very good money as an individual contributor. I feel a lot of pressure to move up the chain - from my manager, but also societal expectations and the “rat race” culture that many people in my network subscribe to (I have an MBA so that probably explains why).

But sometimes I sit back and think… wait, I have 30 MORE YEARS of working until I can retire (god willing!) Why should I be in a rush? Some people are so eager to get to VP level and I think that’s great for them. But at the same time, I feel judged for wanting to make a lateral move even though it may take me longer to get promoted, and doesn’t involve a fancy new title or pay increase. Like it’s weird for wanting to prioritize learning and growing my skillset in my job. Maybe one day I’ll want to be a Manager, but I want to do it on my terms when I’ve found the right fit. I don’t want to come across as lazy, complacent, or not living up to my potential… I am the opposite of that, I just express it differently than most.


Anyway - I just want to know if anyone feels me on this so I know I’m not alone. Or maybe some encouragement that this is a totally valid path and mindset to have.


Did you have any classes you did well at in school? Maybe a teacher you had a good relationship with at the time?

Did you do any sports or extracurriculars? Anyone else you have a relationship with?

Did you tell them you don't have work experience? If they're aware they're hiring someone without a work history, they'll know not to expect that. Try to get character references? If you have a neighbor you've helped or like literally anyone who can speak to your work ethic or positive attitude or whatever.

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