This is the first in a series of articles addressing the eight different stages of the job search and the tangible things you can do to navigate them.
We all begin our job search in different places. Regardless one reality is consistent across our stories, if you want a job making money and doing good you have to embrace the notion that you won't get there in a straight line. Careers today no longer follow linear trajectories that take you from graduation, to internship to employment up the ranks.
When following non-linear career paths we need to find new ways to gain the confidence to trust that it is all going to work out. Linear paths innately give you that trust that things are going to work out – we can envision what a life of a lawyer, nurse or teacher look like. We know someone who is living that life. When you choose to follow a non-linear path and seek to build a career that is not as familiar you have to find that confidence and trust elsewhere internally.
The first exercise featured on Fifty Ways to Get a Job is simple. Map your non-linear career path.
Whether you are a mid-career professional or a new graduate mapping your non-linear career path so far, reflecting on the various transitions, people, experiences and emotions that brought you here will help you realize you are already in the middle. You are not beginning.
Today every industry is being rethought, redesigned and rebuilt in ways that do good and the companies that are doing this rebuilding are hiring. Each of our non-linear career paths have made us the perfect person to get a job in one of these industries – to discover which industry and what the next step is, we begin by looking backwards.
How to map your non-linear career path
1. List your milestones. Make a list of 25 different milestones, relationships, people, jobs, or experiences that brought you to where you are today.
2. Create a map with your milestones. Connect them chronologically, making note of the impact they had on your state of mind at the time. Draw your map on a white board, a large piece of paper or your computer.
3. Expand your milestones. Pick two random points and try to add in five more milestones, people, or experiences that got you from one step to the next.
4. Link emotions. Choose a different pen colour and note your emotions throughout the map. How did you feel before and after you got your last job? When did you last feel overwhelmed or totally satisfied?
5. Review your map. Take note of patterns, industries, themes, and clues that could inform your next step.
6. Ask questions. Ask yourself: What do I want to repeat? Do differently? Learn from this? What industries or jobs emerge that may have been hiding in your peripheral vision?
Welcome to your non-linear career path.
Now you are ready for the practical next steps of starting your career search. Figure out how much money you have, how long it will last, and go and change your picture on LinkedIn. It is time to launch yourself. A new career that makes money and changes the world is possible. You are officially on the way.
Dev Aujla (@devaujla) is the author of Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money and Community in a Changing World, creator of the website 50waystogetajob.com, and the CEO of Catalog, a strategic advisory and recruiting company that works with companies that do good.