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How to navigate job searching with a squiggly career

Posted over 1 year ago by Julia Williams
Job Search Tips

How many of you have seen an image of career development featuring a ladder or some version of stairs? 

We’re guessing that’s probably the majority of you. But in reality, not everyone has such a linear career path. 

In fact we’d argue most of us at some point have backtracked, changed direction, boomeranged around a few companies or had a brief stint of freelancing only to find it’s not for us. 

If you’re nodding, then you’ve probably had what is called a ‘squiggly career’. 

Squiggly careers are great for trialling new possibilities in your career. Whether with a new employer or a different path all together, they allow you to grow, and craft a career path which is designed around your own needs and sense of fulfilment. 

The challenge with squiggly careers

Though many companies are open to candidates who have different career experiences, and respect the challenges many experienced throughout Covid. For some, the concept of a squiggly career can evoke negative perceptions or beliefs about a job seeker, especially if they see a lot of movement in recent months or years. 

Communication is key!

Most of us will have a squiggle somewhere in our career path. But, if you’ve experienced a lot of movement over the last year we’d advise you to be clear about the reasons why during your application and interview process. 

You don’t need to go into massive amounts of detail to help put employers minds at ease. It could be as simple as … 

  • I was made redundant.

  • I wanted to expand my skillset with an employer who offered training and development. 

  • I desired a career which I could feel more passionate about. 

Whether in your personal bio at the top of your CV, a brief paragraph in a cover letter or explained to your recruiter/during interview, communicating your reasons why can help offset challenges you may face in securing employment with a squiggly career. 

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Header: Image adapted from Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels: