My biggest takeaway from it was to not expect a simple and clear straight path for your career, from which you will never veer or deviate. Putting in your time day after day, week after week, and year after year. Being rewarded with slowly but surely moving up the expected ladder step by step, until you retire with that gold watch. I think those days are long gone.
The example of your grandfather even shows that his role changed quite a bit over the 50 years, despite being at the same company.
I think we all have to be flexible and learn to recognize the times when we should grind through an obstacle vs. curving around an immovable object. Otherwise, we end up beating our heads against a wall and wonder why we end up damaged and frustrated.
I wish that it was easy to learn those lessons and recognize the nuanced differences. I know that I’ve certainly ended up beating my head against a wall long after I should have moved on for a better, more achievable opportunity. Maybe it just requires some time, a few failures, and enough experiences to know when to say when.