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The End of the Career Path?

Is having a "career path" still a thing...or are we living in the era of the scenic tour? Three reasons to champion personalized adventures.
Is having a “career path” still a thing…or are we living in the era of the scenic tour? Three reasons to champion personalized adventures.

Is having a “career path” still a thing? Or are we living in the era of the “career scenic tour”? Welcome to the era of the “career adventure!”

These are questions worth contemplating as the job market is evolving in a way we haven’t seen since the Industrial Revolution when automation cut through the workday with a double-edged sword.

Yes, this evolution made the concept of leisure possible for some. However, it also meant job elimination, requiring many to quickly replot their path.

Yesterday’s automation is today’s digitalization. Going digital hasn’t eliminated career paths; it’s opened expressways to other possibilities — not to mention ways of working, especially for those of us who’ve been lucky enough to be on video calls and hear, “you’re on mute” approximately a bazillion times over the last two years.

As someone who’s taken the scenic tour from public relations into integrated creative, I can say the views are stunning. And with the wide-open job market, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of how quickly you’ll see them.

If you’re an employer, here are three key reasons to champion personalized career adventures versus conventional career paths.

Employers: Three Key Reasons to Champion The Career Adventure Vs. The Conventional Career Path

1. Diversity of Thinking

Best practices are helpful, but only up until the point when they begin to limit new thought. When starting a new job a few gigs back, an astute observation from a then-new co-worker really resonated, “If you see other ways of doing things, speak up now. Three months in, you’ll likely be thinking like us.” This is not only true when starting a new job, but exponentially important when venturing into a new career space.

2. An Expanded Network

Folks coming in with different backgrounds bring different networks. To avoid the echo chamber effect, which is especially detrimental to bringing forward fresh creative thinking, in advertising and beyond, Forbes suggests that it is essential to include perspectives and experiences that differ from your own.

3. Happy and Healthy Folks

Learning new things unlocks new connections. Not just with other folks, but within your own brain. When we set out to learn something new, the dividends of curiosity — and to a greater extent, ingenuity — are profound, reaching beyond the monetary rewards to the more monumental treasures like health and happiness.

For employees who are curious about their individualized career adventure, here are three key things you’ll need to pack as you go “off-roading” in your career.

Employees: Three Key Things You’ll Need To Pack When Embarking on a Career Adventure

1. Patient Mentors

When making a jump to a new position or industry — even if it’s adjacent to the one you’re leaping from — it is, in fact, your first rodeo. So, saddle up next to an expert who can help show you the ropes. Beyond tapping into their relevant experience, there is a myriad of benefits to having a mentor. I wouldn’t be where I am without their guidance and wisdom.

2. A Resilient Mindset

Success and failure are not binary concepts. Failures, in fact, play a lead role in many success stories — professional and personal. When starting a new job, the beautiful truth is that you’ll likely fail at one thing or three. The key is to embrace these failures as lessons, versus a mistake, so you can apply what you’ve learned free of shame.

3. An Internal Compass

Okay, it’s kinda hard to leave this one behind. However, sometimes we work really hard to ignore our intuition. Here’s the truth: when ya know, ya know — in your career and beyond. Trust your gut. If a job offer piques your curiosity, seek more information. If it sparks excitement, go for it. However, if it raises any flags, tiny ones included, take a beat to process them.

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