In fact, you may be wildly successful at every job you have, and still need to change jobs more often than someone has made you feel is “normal.” To make this happen you will need to either (1) plant yourself inside a BIG organization that allows for movement, or (2) hop from organization to organization.
Careers are windy roads, over many decades, and I would venture to guess (because I am too lazy to research it and think someone reading this will comment on it…thank you in advance…) that most working professionals in the US are doing something that is quite a departure from their area of study in college and/or first job.
You may start out in one area, with a fervent interest in it, and then pivot. Once, twice, or like a ballet dancer doing pirouettes across a stage. It happens.
And by the way it can be hard to spot the various career pivots by looking at LinkedIn profiles! Can you imagine someone who at one point studied to be an architect, diplomat, and economist, but instead became a study abroad advisor, diversity consultant, linguist, and communications consultant? If you can dream her up, you may find she looks like ME! True story.
Now I typically write about communications, and this topic does not appear at this moment to relate to the language around us. But no one likes to stay on brand more than a comms person, and so follow me to the end. I will get there. Because someone needs to hear this, too…
If you find yourself, three or four jobs into your career, having “sampled” various roles or even fields, and you are concerned about appearances (“What will people think? I am all over the place!”), call up your friend who does communications work.
A comms person will be able to listen to you as you talk about the jobs you’ve had and, with squinty eyes—so the little things are fuzzy and the big things stand out—will be able to spot the common thread in those jobs. Your buddy will help you pull on that thread (i.e., “problem-solver,” or “systems thinker” or whatever…) so you can tell the story of your career in the kind of way you’ll want to in an interview and on your LinkedIn profile. There’s always a story, there’s always a common thread, and you sometimes just need an expert to find it and tie it into a bow for you.
So, in conclusion, job hop away, and always make friends with the comms person.