The conventional shape of good career—basic education, entry-level jobs to get experience, advanced education or training, accomplishment rising to a peak, and eventual retirement—is not the only choice we have. The problem with that scenario is that if we get off track along the way, we may never get the training we need or we might miss important opportunities for progress in our field. As a result it could be hard to call our career successful.
The good news is that there's an alternative. An ever-rising trajectory wherein we accomplish more and more as years go by is also possible. In fact, this picture is more realistic, because it conforms to how God created us—never limited and never ending. "God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself," Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health, "broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis" (p. 258). Regardless of anyone's chronological age, it's natural that our capacity to achieve never diminishes.
Making this infinite possibility a reality in our lives takes careful attention to each day. Science and Health puts it succinctly: "Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them" (Science and Health, p. 233). Turning only to human solutions for career challenges, or simply running away from the demand for "higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power," can actually become big reasons that some careers stall or why midlife career transitions are slow in getting off the ground. Without meeting the spiritual demand for constant development, retirement years can become a time of diminishment instead of accomplishment.