A new way to visualize a career journey
Because using lists does not do your career justice.
Career journeys are like snowflakes
Each career is unique and perfect, with infinite possibilities and paths. And yet we visualize them in linear, boring lists. Lists miss the complexity and trajectory of our unique paths.
Is there a different way? Why, yes.
Introducing: Career map
Behold a better way to visualize a career journey - a career map. A bird’s eye view of the complex, unique structure our careers take on every year.
A career map is helpful not only to appreciate your snowflake but to see how others build their snowflakes.
Careers cannot be copied but could be studied to derisk strategies.
So here is my career map: from Traditional Full-Time roles to Solopreneur.
It’s messy. It’s not linear. It's… perfect for me.
Want to visualize your career this way too?
Start with this Miro template. Just copy it to your account:
My five biggest career takeaways:
1. Learnings before earnings (in early stages)
What I 'lost' in earnings early in my career by not chasing after the highest salary I make up in the blink of an eye now.
2. Prioritize title progressions
Market values title progressions at the same company more than getting a higher title at a new job.
3. Don't do it alone.
I had sponsors and mentors. I heavily involved myself at Reforge to learn from other operators. Shortcut learnings where possible! I now even hire advisors for myself.
4. Be flexible with the outcome.
I wanted to be a CEO early in my career. Now I would never take on that role - I love being a solopreneur.
5. Optionality is *everything*.
Every year I ask myself - what can I learn/do now to give me more career options next year? Access to more jobs, across more industries, with different employment contracts, etc. Think about it as building out your career pantry - the more ingredients you have, the more dinner options you will have that will match your exact taste.
And FOUR hardest lessons learned?
Being patient, while being impatient and demanding.
Being appreciative of wins, while constantly trying to shoot higher.
Pushing forward, without knowing what the 'end goal' looks like.
Focusing on crafting a unique path, while not trying to copy others.
Share your career maps in the comments!
I’d love to see your amazing career map!
Or perhaps you’ve created an even better template? Do share!
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Hi Elena, I've created this Product Career Map that might help Product professionals orient themselves about where they are and where they might want to go next: https://productevolution.substack.com/p/evo10-product-career-map
As Growth is an adjacent profession, a similar map might help Growth professionals navigate their careers - with Growth Craft as major skill area (instead of Product Craft, even though they might overlap) and with different links that connects Growth professionals at certain career levels with adjacent career opportunities
what a journey! appreciate the wisdom here ((: