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Your Career: Ladder or Lattice?

Remember Snakes & Ladders? Didn’t you feel gleeful when you landed on a ladder? Like you got a direct line to achieving your goal – winning the game – and avoiding those dreaded snakes that made success harder.

Ladders are practical. Firefighters use them to save lives (and kittens too). You use them to clean eavestroughs as well as explore caves. 

Then there’s the metaphorical way of seeing ladders. Jacob’s ladder symbolizes the connection between heaven and earth. Ladder variations appear in multiple fairy tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Old Rinkrank to impart lessons to generations of impressionable children. Abraham-Hicks uses a ladder image to describe the Emotional Guidance Scale.

In sum, ladders support you playfully, literally, and figuratively.

Climbing Ladders

You can climb up or down ladders. This makes them helpful in binary choices: yes or no, black or white. Of course, life isn’t always simple, especially as you grow older. Life exists in shades of grey. Nuance colours conversations because context is important. Here’s where the lattice comes in.


Picture a lattice, or what I like to call it, a jungle gym. It’s made of rope, not wood like a ladder, and you can move up, down, sideways, and diagonally. Lattices let you move in multiple ways. This freedom of movement allows you to see nuanced, multi-perspective options. Lattices help us navigate complex situations.

Both ladders and lattices hold value in making choices. Here’s why.

Your Career Ladder – Clarity

Imagine your career today. Where do you find yourself on the ladder? Go ahead, take a moment and place yourself on your ladder. Are you in the middle? Are you one rung up? Two? Or how about three rungs down from the middle? 

Now, shift from your physical location on the ladder to how you feel on it. Standing three rungs down from the middle, what emotion do you associate with it? Maybe you feel eager, in beginner mode, and look forward to ascending. Perhaps you feel lost or frustrated because you’re not moving in the direction you want.

Ladders clarify where you’re at in your life and how you feel about it.

Your Career Lattice – Growth

With clarity, the question becomes, What’s next? It’s true, you can always move up the ladder. At some point, though, you’ll reach a rung with which you feel satisfied. You won’t want to climb higher; you’ll feel comfortable at that rung.

And yet … the soul always yearns for growth.

Balancing that conundrum between satisfaction with where you’re at and your innate need for growth is challenging. Enter “the lattice.”

Remember that lattices let you move in many directions. Many directions mean many choices. Your choices define you more than anything else. It’s not what happens to you but how you choose to respond to it. This is how you grow.

Your Choice: Ladder or Lattice

Flexible rope lattices accommodate your professional and personal growth in many ways. Career-wise, lattices work for generalists and those looking at non-linear paths (diagonally or horizontally).

Wooden ladders work if you want to specialize or reach a high rung, usually pre-defined like a job title (CEO) or level of success (multi-million dollar business).

As I said, both have merit. Think “age and stage.” I have often seen people start with the ladder and move to the lattice, particularly women after having children, and people overall once they’ve achieved their career goal and are wondering what’s next.

Header Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

Growth happens on ladders and lattices. On either path, start by gaining clarity, then explore your options.

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.