First you’re an intern. Then you’re hired as an assistant. You then become a coordinator, a specialist, and then a manager. Perhaps you jump companies, but you stay in the same industry, building a career path of positions that shows evidence of perfectly-timed growth in your field.
Sound like the ideal resume?
Not necessarily. I’d argue that, in the first few years of your career, you should fret less about building that step-by-step, logical resume, and focus more on choosing opportunities that will expose you to many industries, fields, and environments. Personally, by taking a winding path, I’ve gained practical knowledge of many fields, developed a set of skills I can apply to any role, and, best of all, figured out what I want out of a job.
So if you’re not positive about your career path (and who is?), here’s why it’s OK to experiment—even if you’re building a resume that you think doesn’t make sense.
1. You’ll Get Good Perspective
While experimenting won’t give you deep experience in one field, you’ll gain the valuable ability to understand many perspectives. I sampled jobs with a nonprofit, government agency, think tank, and law firm. Now, in my current role at a start-up, I have learned that it’s incredibly useful to be able to wear hats from previous jobs when the situation calls for it. For example, putting on my lawyer hat has helped me to avoid insurance issues and steer clear of contract traps. Or, when pitching to nonprofit clients, understanding their budgeting processes has enabled me to structure better deals. I am positive that the ability to easily relate to many different perspectives will help me build more effective relationships with partners, clients, and consultants in every role I encounter.
Check out her whole list here.