What shape would your career be?What shape would your career be?

If your career could be a shape what shape would it be?

Maybe that's a strange thought.

Maybe you haven't considered your career could be a shape, maybe it just is.

I think it does have a shape. Mine looks like a folded spiral.

Why?

Because it's taken lots of twists and turns. It hasn't taken a single direction, up, down or sideways. Over the years it's been all of these.

Add to that a number of strands and the spiral is shaping up to be a bit random. Is random good or bad? 


I think random is the only way to go. Random means taking opportunities as they arise.

Yes, by all means have a plan, just don't be a slave to it. If you stick too rigidly to a plan wonderful chances can pass you by.

Which is why we encourage you to envisage your career ‘shape’. So you have an overall sense of where your career is going, its shape and direction, and you keep your antennae alert for those moments of career opportunity. Trying something new. Trying something that stretches your skills – or challenges you to learn something entirely new.

I'm not suggesting a casual approach to your career, absolutely not. It's important to be serious about recognising the work you do and the skills and experiences you gather. Keeping a log of the challenges you love, and those you’d walk a mile to avoid.

A comprehensive core curriculum vitae (CV) will allow you to keep a record of these skills and expertise. Your core CV will become a very large document over the years, but it's only for you, it's not meant to be shared.

It’s the source material for every CV you prepare, tailor and submit when applying for jobs. It’s also the source for your interview stories, when you’re asked to “talk about a time when…” Regularly bringing it out and brushing up your CV will remind you of what you’ve experienced and learned during your working career.

Over time, your career shape will begin to reveal itself, through your CV.

Preparing a "killer" CV – to get that interview - is a skill in itself. We recommend working with someone – like a careers coach – which can mean the difference between getting an interview and not. No interview means no chance of shining.

So your CV is key that will unlock your varied career, no matter what shape it is.