So what is a non-linear career?It’s one where you break the rules a bit. Perhaps some job hopping, especially at the beginning. Or, if like me, throughout most of it and even built into my career once I became a consultant.Or you decide to go the entrepreneurial route and take a risk on starting your own business. Or you simply don’t worry about each job leading seamlessly and successfully to the other on paper.
Secrets for the non-linear career growth pathBut for those of you who need more action – and are willing to take more risks – the “non-linear” career path could be the one that will make you happiest in the long run. Not that it’s without bumps.Still, with some helpful career “secrets” those bumps and transitions will go a lot more smoothly:
- See opportunity where others see only problems. Similarly: Give yourself credit for all that you have, rather than getting stuck in what’s missing.
- You know where the obstacles are (human and logistical), but rather than focusing on what might stop you, you focus on how to get past them in ways that don’t burn bridges behind you.
- You believe in yourself and your ability to handle and learn new things based on what you’ve been able to accomplish in the past… and you can communicate this well-founded inner confidence naturally and effectively. It’s important to recognize your strengths. Conversely you don’t ride on empty air.
- You seek out new paths.
- You are not afraid to take on calculated risk and fail … but if you do fail, you know how to take it in perspective, dust yourself off and move on with resilience.
- Similarly, when a boss or coworker doesn’t see how great you are, you look for ways to move forward and even grow – and you don’t get stuck on past hurts.
- You look for ways to make things better without blaming others. Time spent blaming is time you could spend accomplishing.
- You know how to publicize yourself effectively. Don’t wait in silence hoping someone will see all you are. Let people know about things you’re working on by making it part of an interesting story. Not bragging … sharing your excitement!
- You look for opportunities even when doing jobs you don’t enjoy. Do your work well and with a great attitude, but also keep your eyes and ears open for something else you could suggest or offer to take on in addition to the work you should be doing, something you would enjoy.
- You know how to connect to people on a trust level and build relationships that are TWO WAY. These are the ones that last and can really come back to help you later on.
- You know when to hold them and when to fold them. Sometimes it’s just time to move on.
- You know in your heart that you will always find a way … even if the way is different than you first imagined.