First, as a professional I watched many of my colleagues raise their hands for high-profile projects they saw as the path to promotions and big bonuses. I opted instead for the stuff outside of the limelight.
The less glamorous assignments didn’t have big budgets or attention from senior leaders, but they offered something more important to me: autonomy and ownership.
Second, for much of my career I worked in an organizational culture that valued career development and promoted job movement as a way to achieve it. Employees were encouraged to seek new roles as soon as 18-24 months after landing in their jobs. That was especially true in one of the positions I held: chief of staff to a senior executive.
I had different ideas about career development: completing my Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and becoming a psychotherapist. Because my chief of staff job offered the flexibility I needed to accomplish my goals, I resisted the pressure to move on and stayed for eight years.