When Your Career Path Isn’t a Straight Line

June 22, 2016

Career Advice

17809655062_aa3802ebda_zWe all have a video playing in our head about the job we think we’re supposed to have, the career our parents expected we’d have, or the skill we’re so good at we must make a career of it… But, what if pressing STOP was the answer?

We focused on “being present” in your interview two weeks ago. It seems that being in the moment creates the best situation for an interview, allowing you to be your most authentic self. This theory also seems to hold true for allowing yourself to follow the opportunities that present themselves, even if they aren’t on the path you planned. Dave Stachowiak, founder of Coaching for Leaders says,

“The path ahead of you won’t be straight—and that’s OK. In fact, it’s encouraged. Because each time you venture off the obvious route, you’ll learn invaluable lessons and gain a fresh perspective on how to handle any bumps you may encounter down the road.”

Here are some tips for accepting your path as it develops even when it’s not a straight line:

1) It doesn’t matter what you call yourself, what your title is, or what you tell people! It’s about the value you bring.
Translation: In an interview, make sure your VALUE comes across and that you are clear on the VALUE of the role you’re interviewing for instead of just the title.

2) Know yourself and your skills!
Translation: This will make it easier for you to communicate your worth in an interview and secure a job. If you can’t communicate your strengths, who will?

3) Know when to be stubborn.
Translation: Be open enough in an interview to see the positions and opportunities clearly. Use your discerning abilities to know whether you will be a good fit for this role and if it will be a right fit for your career path. If it’s not right for you, you can always say no to an offer. At the very least, you’ll get good interview practice.

4) Appreciate the need for experience!
Translation: There will be times when it’s merely important to get the experience you need for that next step. A position could be an opportunity to grow, and one that qualifies you for future roles you’re more excited about. Ask yourself, “Is this a role I need for the experience?”

5) Relax into the highs and lows!
Translation: You can navigate and understand your life more easily when you understand the ups and downs of a career that isn’t moving in a straight line.

To hear more of Dave Stachowiak, tune in here.

Image via ChristianeBue/Flickr.


About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - September 28, 2017

    […] you literally don’t know where you want to be in five years! As we’ve discussed before, every career path is not a straight line. It may not be totally clear where you are headed right now, or how this position will help you get […]

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