The career ladder metaphor is outmoded. It assumes people move up or down their chosen career path. A typical career today more closely resembles a tree with a large canopy. You can scale vertically or horizontally. You can dismount temporarily or permanently. Or you can stop, jump off and climb a completely different tree. You learn from every twist as you navigate work, family, personal growth and community. The knowledge here can help you define your own path, wherever you want it to lead.