What is a squiggly career? Defined by authors of “The Squiggly Career: Ditch the Ladder, Discover Opportunity, Design Your Career”, Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis say a squiggly career is an opposite of climbing the traditional career ladder.
Instead of linear progression from one role to the next, your career is more of a squiggly line, and it’s better to think of your modern career this way; here’s why.
New research from the digital learning platform, FutureLearn, has revealed that 57% of adults have switched careers in their lifetime. If you’re suffering from career fatigue, it’s reassuring to know that we change careers an average of 12 times.
Conscious that you want to change paths at the start of your career? Well, 28% of Brits start their squiggly career path in their early 20s by making a career change.
The data also revealed the industries with workers most likely to jump on the squiggly career trend. Those with a degree in HR are more likely to work in a different industry to their degree now compared to those working in other industries (38%).
To help you take the next step in your squiggly career, Yvonne Chien, chief growth officer at FutureLearn and Daniella Genas, entrepreneur, career coach, and founder of Be the Boss, share three expert tips.
Develop teamwork and communication skills
The three skills cited most vital to making a career change were teamwork, communication and problem-solving, proving the value of transferable skills.
Despite the world becoming increasingly tech-focused and the ever-advancing progression of AI intelligence, less than a quarter of respondents cited digital skills as vital for a career change.
Yvonne comments: “The skills you have in your toolkit can be your strength and weakness when making a career change. One of the main benefits of job-hopping is the adaptable skills acquired from past roles. However, skills gaps can cause significant blockers, deterring people from jumping into a new field.”
Create a development plan
Daniella advises: “A good first step to take when thinking about switching careers is to research different career options. Identify roles that align with your interests, skills and personal values.
“Use this to create a development plan for acquiring any necessary skills or education to make it easier to transition into a new career.”
Upskill before making the switch
Yvonne highlights: “If you’re anxious about your qualifications, upskilling is a great way to gain new expertise and revitalise your career prospects. The variety of online learning opportunities available today makes it easier to build in-demand career skills, wherever and whenever suits you.”
From micro-credentials that offer stackable credit, to online degrees that allow you to study from home, the traditional path of education is being disrupted by this rise of new flexible alternatives, great for those looking to upskill.
Whether you’re looking to take the next step in your squiggly career, upskill, reskill or pursue a passion, you can browse various courses, micro-credentials and degrees here.