What does the word career mean these days?
For those of you who know me, you know, I've had a really diverse career so far.
I've worked in all three sectors, spent 13 years as a fundraiser and fundraising leader and worked in social media marketing, running my own business, product development, training course creation and more!
If my career goal had been to confuse my family and friends about what I do for a living, I would be smashing it.
They seem perpetually mildly confused by the broad range of projects I do and how I seem to be able to do them well across seemingly diverse fields.
But what I believe is that this type of hybrid, multi-hyphen, slashie, whatever you want to call it, is becoming more common. And will become more and more important as the world of work changes and changes more rapidly.
The roles and projects I've been doing for the last 4 years, could not have existed in the 90s. Computing power, mobile phones, digital learning, it just didn't exist when my careers adviser said "Well you like reading, so how about being a librarian"
They say that our children will do jobs that haven't been created yet. I'd argue, we will have jobs that haven't been created yet. And soon.
So, what does a career mean these days? A career used to be one field you worked in and progressed in until your retired. It is time for a redefinition.
For me, a career is a work life that holds the three important things: creating a positive impact, paid well and with huge amounts of opportunities for learning.
I used to plan out my career in a linear way e.g. by x date I want to be a Head of Department in this type of organisation earning x amount. That seems so outdated and limiting now. Linear career paths seem restrictive and inflexible and almost dangerous in their belief you can predict the future.
Since 2014, I have stopped planning a linear career trajectory - how can I predict the future in 5 years let alone 20 or 30?
Now I create a vision combining the skills I want to use, the types of places, people and environments I want to work in. Then I use design thinking to explore, experiment and make that vision a reality.
I'd love to know. What does the word career mean to you? Do you plan your career or use a more iterative approach?