You do things differently.
Your experience and education may look different, untraditional, or even disconnected to others—but it all makes sense to you.
Looking back on your career, one opportunity naturally leads to another. You’ve never been afraid to try something new, but now you’re starting to feel afraid that your exploring has put you at a disadvantage in your career. You’re not as far along as you thought you’d be by this point and you’d like your title to match your skills.
You’re multi-talented and multi-passionate. You’re interesting and you’re interested in a lot of things. You may even prefer to change the focus of your career frequently. You value freedom and flexibility more than most people which is why you’ve always embraced opportunities to learn, grow, and explore.
Yet, Explorers inevitably start to doubt themselves and their career paths. Your education and résumé may look so different from your friends’ and co-workers’ that you’re starting to wonder if you even have a career. You haven’t taken an untraditional approach to your career because you’re flighty. You’ve been searching for work that excites you and celebrates your unconventional strengths.
Sometimes you dream about being more traditional. More stable. More consistent.
But you’re afraid. Because you don’t want to be stuck. You don’t want to be bored… and you’d rather work with uncertainty and learning as you go than to feel miserable at work.
I get it.
When I worked in marketing at a Fortune 500 company, my education looked different from everyone else. I had a master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and two bachelor’s degrees, one in Psychology and the other in English.
And, my resume?! Well, it wasn’t even close to cohesive… I had a handful of college internships, 18 months of teaching preschool and more than five years in event planning.
It made sense to me, but from the outside, nothing looked connected.
But with the help of a mentor, I discovered that my journey had been the result of me being a curious person, always willing to explore new things.
Even though those were unconventional attributes, I learned how to reframe this as assets. Once I did this, I realized I could make a few tweaks to my résumé and creatively present myself for the job I wanted.
Instead of downplaying my atypical education and experience, I positioned my path as a strength.
I learned how to present myself as a potential employee whose unconventional journey allowed her to bring a fresh perspective to old problems. And the same is true for you.
As a career development strategist, I help people like you package their diverse set of experiences, education, and interests into cohesive packages that get them the jobs they’re meant to have.
Understanding your unique Career Path to Meaningful Work is the key to discovering work that allows you to grow while engaging your creativity and passion.
Explorer core career strengths:
Brings a fresh perspective to old problems
Curious, always willing to explore new things
Has trouble following the rules or breaks them
Most likely Career Path to Meaningful Work to have education and experience across industries, work in a creative industry or position, and/or freelance
How Explorers are perceived at work:
Appear to be full of passion, energy, and excitement, but on the inside, they’re panicking and doubting themselves. Sure, they are adventurous and optimistic, but they’re starting to worry that they’re falling behind in their careers.
Feel confined by the status quo but isn’t sure if they can combine their need for freedom with a career that shows results of their hard work and they start to feel helpless, worried, and anxious as a result.
Have trouble balancing their needs for security and accomplishment with their desires to try new things, explore new ideas, and solve new problems which leaves them feeling exhausted, frustrated, and depressed.
Challenges that stop Explorers from enjoying meaningful work:
Prioritizing freedom over good opportunities that might seem restrictive.
Neglecting their desires to advance professionally by pursuing every new enticing offer that comes along.
Focuses on ideals and adventure instead of planning for the future.
How Explorers can overcome these challenges:
Reframe your diverse set of experiences, education, and interests into a cohesive package that gets you the job you’re meant to have.
Learn to evaluate opportunities based on how they align with your strengths and values so you can focus on choices that move you in the “right” direction for your career.
Make time to figure out how to bring your sense of adventure and multitude of interests into your life beyond work.
To get you started, I created a worksheet with some reflection questions for you to consider how you can begin taking ownership over your story and positioning yourself for success.