(3 minute read)
I thought this turtle might inspire you... 'cause he just doesn't give a crap about figuring anything out, and I bet if I asked him, he'd be ok with that.
I'm a millenial. Born in 1987, I just made the millenial cusp. And apparently, I work like a millenial too.
I've had over 30 different jobs so far in my life: these include working at a hot dog stand, various coffee shops, tree planting in the BC bush, painting houses, serving in restaurants, catering, pumping gas, making pizza, program coordination/management, environmental education, writing, and more!
I've run my coaching business for 4 years, starting as a life coach, and graduating to a career coach.
Contract work keeps me busy outside of my business, and I’ll be starting a part-time digital marketing program in July.
My career is ever-changing.
And I like it that way.
But it's not always easy.
When someone asks me what I "do", the answer is never simple, and rarely the same.
I've struggled with the idea that we need to have one singular career path in order to really have our shit figured out.
It's an old-fashioned concept that doesn't necessarily apply to us millenials. In fact, now more than ever, we have the ability to choose what our career path will look like.
And with choice, comes variety. Meaning, our career path may look a variety of different ways.
Which of the following is true (or you would like to be true) of your career path?
YOUR CAREER PATH ISN'T LINEAR
Two years ago, I went from running my coaching business full-time, to serving in a restaurant. It might have looked like a step backwards, but in the end, it was really what I needed to get my feet on the ground, and move forwards.
It gave me the space and time to figure out what was next, and I realized I didn't want to do my coaching business full-time. It was too much pressure and stress, and I didn't like having conversations with potential clients where I felt I NEEDED their money.
It allowed me some time to volunteer on the side (one of my favorite ways to find a new job!), which lead to contract work for a non-profit I was passionate about. This led to more contract work, and combined with my business, I don’t have to worry about my income.
YOUR CAREER PATH ISN'T LEADING TO A KNOWN DESTINATION
Have you ever just had a feeling that you had to do something, even though it didn’t make sense and you didn’t know where it was going to lead?
I have. Many times.
Five years ago I was leading a career in the environmental non-profit sector. I applied and was accepted to a Masters program in Sweden in sustainability leadership. Everything in my career had led me to that point, but as I was driving to the bank to secure my student loan one day, I had the strong feeling that it wasn’t the right move.
At the same time I had been having some conversations with a life coach, and I felt drawn to the form of communication—it was powerful, direct, and had the potential to be transform lives; it moved me on a deep soul level.
Without knowing where it would lead me, I dropped the Masters program and decided to invest in a life coaching certification instead. I never planned or would have guessed this is where I would be in 5 years, and I have no idea where I’ll be 5 years from now. And I’m ok with that.
YOUR CAREER PATH LOOKS MESSY
On top of not being linear, perhaps your career path looks just plain messy. Maybe you have one job here, another side project there, and you’re taking a course over yonder—and let’s not forget about the side business you’re dreaming up.
Maybe you feel self-conscious, and one day, you’ll stop this madness and finally have it “figured out.”
Maybe your family or some of your friends think you’re flaky, or yet to become an “adult,” due to the messiness of your career—on the other hand, maybe this is just who you are.
If you love variety (as I do), and you’re chasing your excitement wherever it leads you, then you might find yourself on this career path.
And guess what? You’re actually pretty normal.
It’s just that a lot of our parents and friends (to no fault of their own) haven’t caught on yet to the way jobs, and our concept of a career, are changing. The modern-day career is all about short-term projects, variety, flexibility, and change.
YOUR CAREER PATH LOOKS MORE TRADITIONAL
And that's ok too!
If you're someone who likes to specialize in one area, and you very highly value security, then you might find yourself on this career path.
Healthcare, teaching, and government jobs are great professions for steady hours, a decent steady income, and benefits.
The difference with today is, we can CHOOSE whether we want this path or not.
So what career path have you chosen, or what will you choose?
And don’t worry—you can always change your mind 😉
To a chosen career path you love,
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.