The Beauty of Zigzagging – Embracing Career Changes
The Beauty of Zigzagging – There seems to be a common misconception that career paths start and end in a straight line. The city jobs and booming businesses are approached straight after university degrees and internships and then…well, that’s it: thirty, forty, fifty years of staying in the same field. For a selection of people this does seem to be the case and that’s fantastic. Being able to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life early on in your career is amazing and timesaving. But how often does this really happen?
What we tend to forget is that the world is a lot more complex and adventurous than we give it credit for. New opportunities arise everyday and with so much choice people ‘zigzag’ or career hop regularly.
In many cases it’s easy to stress ourselves out about finding the perfect career as soon as possible. With worries like money, stability and independence, it’s natural to get caught up in work blues. Comparing ourselves to others doesn’t help the situation either. In many environments the concept of choosing one specific path in life is promoted: we need to latch onto a fixed career and if we take time to ‘figure things out’ we are apparently ‘failures’. But it doesn’t mean this at all. Nowadays people move around more easily and delve into various careers whenever and wherever. So why not take advantage of this?
Career changing doesn’t need to be feared. Searching for the right job and taking on different ones along the way doesn’t mean that you are ‘dilly-dallying’ without any sense of direction. You are exploring, venturing the career globe and discovering new, exciting experiences. The beauty of this is that it can come at any time in your professional life. It’s never too late to start a new adventure!
With all of this in mind, here are some helpful tips to consider for successful Zigzagging
Face your fears
The first trick to tackling the somewhat daunting idea of career changing is to simply believe in yourself. Taking the plunge can seem incredibly scary; you’re throwing yourself into the unknown, but don’t forget that this is also exciting. Remind yourself of why you wanted to try something new and trust your decisions. By having faith in yourself you can then focus on looking forward. If you have just left a certain career ask yourself why you decided to do so: What are you looking for? What was lacking in your first job? Jot down your answers to form an idea of where you want to go next.
Do your research
You don’t need to have a bulletproof plan from the get-go but having a few ideas can help to shape your research. Look into what you would be interested in, what skills or qualifications are needed, the roles and their requirements and contact companies and employees who could offer advice and potential work experience or internships. Once you have explored all of your options try to narrow them down to the most interesting ones.
Whether it’s from parents, friends or career advisers, a little bit of advice or a new perspective can go a long way. During the challenging time of pursuing a different path it’s always a good idea to build a strong support network. A career adviser or mentor would be invaluable, offering more information and resources and coaching you in CV and Cover letter writing and interview practice.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and your career will probably not be secured as quickly as you would like it to be. But that is perfectly fine! With time comes new experiences, new perspectives and an abundance of life lessons. The process of research, applications and interviews takes time so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get a job immediately. At times it may feel like you’re coming across more rejections and dead-ends than breakthroughs but keep the faith! You’ll get there and you’ll look back on your obstacles as important lessons to carry with you into your professional life.
Enjoy the experience
Whether it’s in your social or professional life, change is inevitable and exciting, so embrace it! Accepting this rids yourself of half of your worries. Challenges may come your way but that’s part of the journey to success. The more you enjoy the ride the more you’ll seize new opportunities; some may even allow you to explore the world!
The world really is your oyster and with that comes many wonderful opportunities waiting for you. Whether you crack the career code in one shot or after several attempts, both will eventually lead to the right path for you. Start your zigzagging adventure today.