Here's one simple metaphor I have used to think about career stages. Not to say it's the only one, but one of many that I've thought about.
When you start a career, it seems that your value is primarily based on your feet. Meaning, where you are. You must show up.
Eventually it moves up to your hands. You develop practical skill that you use every time you show up to work. For many people, this stage of their careers gives them everything they want and need.
Then it moves up to include your head: your ability to listen, observe, and speak. Combined with the hands, the practical skill, this is a very powerful combination. For some, it may eventually only include the abilities that are represented by your head; as one moves into senior or executive management, the ability to observe, understand, communicate, and lead are the only things that really matter and being "hands on" becomes less important.
I feel like I've had the opportunity to move up the body and be mostly "head" but still have some "hands on" practical skills that I must use in my daily work. I like the balance so far and think that I'm very fortunate to even have the opportunity to come up with this metaphor.