While career planning is important, there is something to be said for thinking outside of the box, finding your professional sweet spot and letting life take you where it will. Here’s why.
Career planning is something we talk a lot about in recruitment because having a vision about where you want your professional life to take can have wide-reaching consequences.
The most obvious is making inroads in your chosen field and seeking out promotions or advancements that improve your salary. Career planning is also tied to professional satisfaction - of not becoming complacent or bored in a role and seeking out new professional adventures to keep you excited, interested and happy about going to work each day.
And, in terms of your personal life, career planning plays a part in where you will live, the kind of lifestyle you have and even planning a family. But not everyone thinks this way. Some are happy carving out their place in a role and staying in it for a long period - there is nothing wrong with that! Finding your professional sweet spot in a role and deciding to settle in for a time or even forever is fine if this ticks both the professional and personal boxes for you.
There is also a third option that is a little more outside of the box when it comes to thinking about your career.
Career (non) planning: The career stumble
Did you know that Mel Gibson got his breakthrough role - in the classic film Mad Max - because he drove a friend to an audition the night after he was involved in a bar brawl?
Or that Charlize Theron was discovered by a talent agent when she lost it with a bank teller who wouldn’t cash her cheque?
Both of these Hollywood actors “stumbled” into hugely successful careers. And yet the word “stumble” is often thought of negatively. Stumbling is usually considered as being a mistake or as showing ineptitude or clumsiness.
Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels
However, doing a bit of career stumbling is not such a bad thing and can even land you in a role or business or industry that you might never have planned for but be ultimately happier in.
It’s all to do with having a dynamic (or, to use the more oft-used term, “growth”) mindset. Human beings tend to like certainty, so we plan and organise to bring as much certainty as we can into our lives and avoid nasty surprises.
But sometimes, you can plan too much, locking yourself into a path that doesn’t allow for any creative or dynamic thinking. While it’s true some careers have a more set form of progression difficult to deviate from, others have more capacity for a bit (or a lot!) of stumbling.
And, even those careers that seem more set in stone around certain career paths aren’t as set as they may seem.
Take a law grad, for example.
He or she may study criminal law, do their articles, gain admittance, do articles and begin their fully-fledged career with a view to eventually becoming a partner.
However, having a dynamic mindset might change this. Not being locked in and stumbling a little could mean the grad takes a completely different path and ends up happier.
Maybe they volunteer at a soup kitchen for the homeless on weekends, see the issues there and flip their career to working at Legal Aid?
Or it could be that their best friend is a singer whose gigs they go to a lot, which gets them interested in the artist rights, so they retrain to become an entertainment lawyer?
In both cases, the grad didn’t lock themselves too much into a career plan, stumbled a little along their professional path and ended somewhere completely different but just as satisfying.
Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels
The moral of the story?
There is no right or wrong or moral!
If you like to feel more certain about your path ahead, career planning is a great way to set goals to achieve your ambitions - and Gorilla Jobs is happy to help!
But if you feel the need to stumble into your next dream job, it’s also worth talking to us. We spend a lot of time looking at vacant roles, organisations that are hiring and the range of prospective candidates out there, so we have a deep understanding of the legal and medical jobs markets. And we spend time getting to know each of our candidates, so might be able to gently guide you in your stumbles!
Career plan or career stumble - which is the one for you?
Gorilla Jobs Can Help You
We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!