During a panel discussion at New York University’s “Dialogue for Leadership – From Challenge to Opportunity: Leading to the Future”, the moderator, Patti Sellers, Editor at Large at FORTUNE, made the following insightful comment to the  MBA women:

Don’t think of your career as a ladder. Think of it as a jungle gym. If you think of it as a ladder, you won’t have the peripheral vision to enable you to see the lateral opportunities and especially today when you don’t know what the hot job is tomorrow. You’ve got to keep yourself open and you’ve got to swing to the opportunities that come along.

Sellers further expanded on this by saying that many of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women have, in fact, made lateral moves and even downward moves in order to broaden their experience and it has paid off for them in the long run.

The message here is that if you are ONLY looking up the ladder at the next rung, you could very well miss some opportunities that can have tremendous benefit to advancing your career.

Focus is great as long as it doesn’t become tunnel vision and blind you to what else is out there for you.