My friend, Master Resume Writer Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, often posts her original poems on Facebook.
I have an uncomfortable relationship with poetry. I loved Shel Silverstein’s work when I was in elementary school. I still love it.
My favorite memorized poem is:
Easy to remember, right?
And there are all the roses are red poems you’ve heard…. tons of them.
And then there’ are what I consider antipoems: Haiku. Poems based on syllables and not rhymes? How could that even be poetry???
At the end of the last school year I went to a poetry reading evening at my kids’ high school. Every poem was shared that evening… even the poems written by kids who weren’t there. I volunteered to read three or four. Some of them rhymed, some didn’t. But that night, they all touched me. They came from deep places and talked about real concerns. It was beautiful.
Some poems just don’t rhyme. And that is okay.
Why am I writing about poetry on my job search and career blog? Because I had planned my career decades ago. It was going to be linear, structured, predictable, safe, and go according to plan.
Now that I’m 45 I look back and my career has been none of that. It has been squiggly, random, back-tracked a few times, holding my breath many times, and just not really sure of anything.
But somehow, someway, it all worked out.
I’m a planner. I respect planners. But I’m here to tell you that what you should plan for is change. Plan for flexibility. Plan for Plan B and Plan C and Plan Z. Plan to trust others, and be let down. Plan to go all-in and have it all fall apart. Plan to be out of work for months, maybe years. Plan to adapt.
Your career plan will look a lot more like a Haiku than a roses-are-red. If what you are looking at is unconventional, untraditional, then how would you plan and prepare for that?
Learn. Learn new stuff. Excel at what you do.
Embrace change. Love change. Be excellent at change.
Find opportunities. Sniff them out and act on them.
Be a student of careers and income streams.
Be financially savvy, and don’t limit your options because you overspend and are over-leveraged.
Some poems don’t rhym, and it’s okay. They can still be beautiful.
Some careers don’t go as planned, and it’s okay. You can still enjoy the ride, and have an awesome ending.
Related post: Do You Enjoy Your Career Hike?