How a step backward can propel career growth

07/23/2013 | Harvard Business Review online

After graduate school, Carrie Householder accepted a job with less responsibility than the one she had hoped for. But the year she spent in the job propelled her career in unexpected ways, says Householder, now senior manager of buying and product management at Amazon. "You think about something as being a step backward when it doesn't look like you perceive that it should look," she said. "Except sometimes a step backward is actually more like pulling a slingshot back. You're moving forward much farther and much faster at the end of the day."

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