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a blog by Chris Barrow

Do you and your team have Squiggly careers ahead?

I heard co-authors Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis interviewed by Chris Evans on his Virgin Radio breakfast show and, I have to admit, began with a critical attitude.

It's all too easy for older generations (and they don't come much older than mine) to criticise Millennials as having a less disciplined or structured approach to their careers.

In 1970, when I obtained my first full-time employment (pause for thought - I'm in my 50th year of work), it was generally considered that one's vocation, even one's Employer, were choices as set in stone as the choice of a marriage partner. That failure to stay the course would be an indication of weakness and against the basic foundations of civilised society.

I stayed with my first job for 10 years and it was considered a huge "risk" when I changed companies in order to further my prospects.

I stayed with my original vocation for 23 years (financial services), during which time I worked for only 2 companies (including the first) before branching out as self-employed (even that regarded at the time by some family, friends and colleagues as losing my marbles).

I've stayed with my second vocation (speaking, coaching and writing) for the last 27 years and I'm not going anywhere.

Having disliked a number of business partnerships (I know, the common denominator was me), I've also reconciled myself to the freelancer lifestyle. There'll be no big fat cheque for me anytime but there will be freedom to be myself.

Back to The Squiggly Career. The premise is that the days of permanency have been superseded by the NEED to chop and change and the book contains a number of exercises to help you:

· Identify your Values · Play to your Super Strengths · Address your Confidence gremlins · Design your support solar systems (Networks) · Explore your Future Possibilities

I'm going to to recommend this book because:

  • If you are an Employer, you had better understand the mind-set of your team;

  • It's a good book to have your managers read for the same reason;

  • As a parent, you will find this useful;

  • No matter what your age or status - you may well just discover some insights about why you have ended up who you are.

Life, after all, is becoming increasingly squiggly.

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