The Added Value of My Non-Linear Career Path
Within the past thirty years in the United States, there has been a significant shift away from the ‘work one job until retirement’ career structure. Substantial changes in the global economy, advancements in travel and communication technology, an increase in contractual and online employment and evolving attitudes and values associated with work are factors which have contributed to this change. Now it is the norm to have an average of five to seven jobs in unrelated areas throughout one’s lifespan.
Megan Randall, M.A. is an undergraduate career coach in the Career Professional Development Center. Her professional trajectory has been nonlinear, which is more common now than it has ever been. Randall’s experiences underscore the importance of remaining flexible, having realistic expectations and making the best of one’s situation throughout their career. Food caterer, blueberry picker, dining hall server, undergraduate research assistant, residential life staff, English language instructor in Tanzania and Boston, barista, on-site study abroad program assistant in Nicaragua and crêpe maker are just some of the many roles Megan held prior to getting her first position at the U as a Learning Abroad Coordinator.
Job change can be dauting and can upend our sense of routine and stability. Fear, doubt and/or stress are perfectly normal reactions to uncertainty. On the other hand, excitement can also ensue when you start something new.