The Squiggly Career Book Summary - The Squiggly Career Book explained in key points
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The Squiggly Career summary

Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis

Ditch the Ladder, Embrace Opportunity and Carve Your Own Path Through the Squiggly World of Work

4.5 (190 ratings)
22 mins
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    The Squiggly Career
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    Compared to previous generations, we have more freedom to decide how our careers play out.

    Careers used to progress according to internal corporate structures and promotions, but this approach is becoming increasingly outdated. Now, more than ever, it’s up to us to decide where we want to be, what we want to do, when we want to do it, with whom we want to do it, and, perhaps most importantly, why we want to do it. 

    The key message here is: Compared to previous generations, we have more freedom to decide how our careers play out.

    Besides glaring spelling mistakes on your resume, job-hopping used to be a surefire way to get a hiring manager to disregard your application. Nowadays, it’s not only more common, but increasingly seen as a positive facet in an applicant. After all, multiple starts in your career indicate an unwillingness to settle for anything less than the best. Trying different routes suggests adaptability and open-mindedness, and it usually means you’ve picked up new skills and perspectives along the way.

    Automation is also constantly transforming and replacing professions. According to a study by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, as many as 375 million people might have to change their career fields in the next ten years. Rather than having proficiency in a specific area, work is now more centered around projects and relevant skills. Learning to adapt to new technologies and industries will ensure that you have opportunities well into the future. Your career will always be a work in progress, so it’s a good idea to give lifelong learning a permanent timeslot in your daily routine.

    These changes are leading to more flexibility in how we work, which can positively impact both employees and companies. A YouGov study found that implementing flexible working hours increased employee productivity by 72 percent. For some, this new freedom means they can work from home, a café, or even a tropical island. 

    But having more flexibility presents its own challenges. Too much remote working can lead to loneliness, due to the sheer lack of human interaction. Many people also find it difficult to unplug and keep their work life and downtime separate. 

    Navigating your big-picture plans without a road map can be a daunting task, so start small. Identify practical changes you can make to begin squiggling your way through a rewarding career.

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    What is The Squiggly Career about?

    The Squiggly Career (2020) covers research and tips on how to best navigate a career full of frequent transitions and modern-day challenges. If we learn to identify our own strengths, values, goals, and motivations, we can apply them more often at work – and notice when they’re being neglected. The authors reveal how to network by helping others, the merits of starting a side project, and how to make the most of the newfound control we have over our careers.

    Who should read The Squiggly Career?

    • Job-hoppers looking for direction
    • College grads wondering what the next step is 
    • Anyone seeking insight into the new job market

    About the Author

    Helen Tupper is the cofounder and CEO of the award-winning career development company Amazing If. She previously worked at Microsoft, Virgin, and BP. The Squiggly Career is her first book.

    Prior to becoming the cofounder and Chief Learning Officer of Amazing If, Sarah Ellis managed marketing and corporate responsibility teams at Barclay’s and Sainsbury’s. The Squiggly Career is also her first book.

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