I have been hearing a lot about jealousy on Instagram. Comparing ourselves to those we follow. Why can’t I have that living room, why can’t I stomach celery water every morning, why can’t I find those shoes in my size. Lately, I have been jealous on LinkedIn. Why can’t I have that career past, why haven’t 900 people endorsed me, what’s up with my profile picture.
LinkedIn is an incredible platform to network, learn of potential employment and build your industry knowledge. I love it. I am a huge LinkedIn cheerleader and drink all the “How to get the most out of LinkedIn” Koolaid, then I pass it on to my clients…. take a big SIP.
A few times now I have gone digging into some of my connections, stewing over their experience sections and endorsements. I keep comparing myself to connection who have been in their careers for decades and display their growth within the industry and clearly display their success and years of experience. Needless to say, I am a bit insecure. What I keep coming back to is my sordid career. I have been in so many professions I’m a jack of all trades and an expert at none. I know this about myself and have come to terms with it, but it’s hard to face while I stare at some professionals that have been in the same field since they graduated college. Until now I couldn’t make up my mind on my career and I had support from my parents and husband, so was never forced to decide. This is such a blessing but hard to digest when there are many folks in my field who may apply for the same position that have been molded in this profession for decades. I was feeling incredible fragile while scrolling through so many professionals who are veterans in their field.
I start to think about the old Rascal Flatts song, “God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.” It’s the same with our careers. My past careers have included: administrative assistant, counseling paraprofessional, yoga teacher, preschool teacher, ESL teacher, waitress, career services specialist, resume writer and career consultant. I have drawn from all these experiences to be a stronger career consultant. For example, in my role as a career services specialist, I was able to use my experience as a counselor to be liaison with the access and wellness team supporting students with needs; I used my time as an ESL teacher to build engaging presentations, identify multicultural issues, and proof read content; I used my time as a yoga teacher to lead classes for my team during our lunch break; I used my years as a preschool teacher to support the education department as a liaison; I used my waitressing skills to uphold quality customer service with students who reached out to our department; my administrative skills supported all of the backend work required for the position. I was an extremely strong candidate because I was able to pull so many strengths from my eclectic career history.
Do you have an eclectic career history? Good.
Employers are beginning to value the strengths of outsiders. Just because you haven’t been in a particular role before, doesn’t mean you don’t have the transferable skills to be an incredible candidate. Now more than ever, employers are looking for candidates that can strengthen their team through an outside perspective. Your past allows you to view a project from a unique perspective. In your resume and interview it is vital to share how your perspective can positively impact their team.
So- Embrace where you have been and use those experiences and skills to lighten up your future.