All human beings have varying temperaments, while there are some individuals who know exactly what they want to do in their life right from their school days, on the other hand there are those individuals who even after college find it tough to narrow down on a career path for themselves, leading to a winding career path. Taking your time and experimenting along the way to make the correct career decisions is a good thing indeed, but things tend to become awkward when you have to explain yourself at an interview. Here is how to explain a winding career path in your interview.
15 Tips to Explain your Winding Career Path to a Hiring Manager:
1. What is winding career path?: It does not happen often that an individual works in the same company from the beginning to the end of his career. There are some people who work in four to five companies in their lifetime, yet at the same time there are those individuals who keep shifting jobs for some reason or the other, causing them to have a terribly winding career path. People choose to change jobs for a number of different reasons- like due to more pay being offered in another company, the new office being closer to their homes or simply because the prospects of the new jobs excite them very much indeed.
2. Is it OK to have winding career path?: This is a question which is very often asked by individuals and there is no definite answer which can be offered, owing to the fact that there are various kinds of interviewers across the world. Some interviewers are broad minded and they will not condemn a person because of his or her winding career path, yet, there are those interviewers who think that a winding career path, implies that the person is someone who cannot stick to a job and lacks either seriousness or dedication. But, in actual fact you do have the freedom to do whatever you want and as long as you have the credentials, companies will be willing to hire you.
3. Think about what you would like to say before hand: When you go for an interview, it is natural that you will have some butterflies in your stomach. Some people get so nervous before or during their interview that they are not able to give any satisfactory answers at all. For such individuals the only way in which they can bag a job, would be if they think of some answers to questions which are sure to be asked, from beforehand so that they will not crumble under pressure at the interview scene. So if you are someone with a winding career path, then thinking of a satisfactory answer to give, from beforehand itself, is something that will do you a world of good.
4. Be familiar with your career timeline: If you have changed a number of jobs, in quick succession, then you can be sure that at your interview your interviewer is going to ask you to explain yourself. To give a satisfactory answer it is of paramount importance that you have your career timeline on your finger tips. If you, yourself don’t know where you have worked and for how long then that is going to reflect very badly on your character as well as work ethic. So spend some time gathering your thoughts and preparing for your interview. If you don’t take some time out for this you cannot expect that you will be able to crack the interview.
5. Choosing the right words is extremely important: One of the most important skills for anyone in the business world is communication skills. If your communication skills are not up to the mark then you cannot expect to move ahead in your career. During your interview what you say and how you say it is something that is very important indeed. Choosing the right words is something that can go a long way in impressing your interviewer. No matter who you are or how your career path looks like, you should try and convince your interviewer that you are someone who will be a true asset to the company and that all you need is a chance to prove yourself.
6. Make it seem like strength rather than a weakness: Rather than thinking that your winding career path is a disadvantage for you, should think of ways in which it has helped you along the way so that you can state these things to the interviewer and show what a positive thing this winding career path has been for you. When you do this then you will silently communicate to him or her that you are someone who takes anything and everything in your stride no matter what. Companies want to hire people who have a positive outlook on life, and are able to look at the brighter side of things. So try your best to accustom your mind to think in this manner.
7. Say that it has really broadened your horizons: When you are trying to explain your winding career path to the interviewer you should state that this winding career path of yours has really broadened your outlook on life and has made you someone who has the ability to look at things holistically. In this day and age, no one wants to hire an individual who has an old and archaic manner of thinking so prove that you are indeed someone who is a relevant part of today’s corporate world and since you have been around so much you really do have a lot of contacts, exposure as well as experience.
8. Stress on the fact that you are versatile: A great thing which you can say when trying to explain your winding career path to the interviewer is that, you being able to change your jobs in such quick succession points to the fact that you are someone who is very versatile indeed and that you have no problems shifting from one role to another. You are willing to accept each day as a challenge and you never shy away from taking up a new project which is of interest to you. Yet before you try your level best to convince the recruiter, ensure that you are convinced of what you are saying yourself, lest you might end up looking foolish.
9. Mention that you are not someone who just ‘settles’: State categorically that you are someone who isn’t going to stick to a job, because you think that shifting jobs regularly will make your CV look less impressive. Say that you are someone who never just settles for the bare minimum; rather you try your best to ensure that you live life to the fullest and make the most of it. Tell the interviewer that as soon as something good comes your way you do not hesitate before grabbing the offer instantly, lest it slips through your fingers. This will let him or her know that you are someone who seizes the moment and does not spend your time brooding and over thinking matters.
10. State that you have a sense of adventure within you: If you are someone who is filled with a sense of adventure and is greatly intrigued by the unknown then you should tell the interviewer. So that he or she knows that you are not someone who plays the fool at the work place, rather you are someone who has no qualms about shifting jobs, provided the job is something that intrigues you as well as gives you a sense of fulfillment. As people grow up and mature they only chase after name and fame and forget to be a part of things which genuinely give them a sense of thrill and joy.
11. Mention that you were exploring your options: There are many people who choose to stick to a job, merely because they crave for stability. If you are someone who would rather explore all your options before narrowing down on one job, then you should tell the interviewer this, that you are very well aware of the fact that your winding career path on your CV may not look ideal, but it just shows that you are someone who will never make a decision without exploring all the possibilities. This is something that is most certainly bound to impress them, so ensure that you do mention it when trying to explain yourself.
12. Say that it is not money which you chase after: Though money is indeed a very valuable resource in today’s times, yet it is certainly not the be all and end all of life. So tell your interviewer that your chief aim for holding in on to a job is not money or financial gains, rather it is the love for the job. State that, not satisfied with the work ethic of company, in the past is the reason you have left the job. It is not money that altered your decision in most cases.
13. How to Explain Your Winding Career Path to a HR Manager: Having to talk to an HR manager about your winding career path, might seem like a daunting thing to do, yet there is nothing to be afraid of, given the fact that you cannot change your past in any way at all. Remember that you are not alone and that in their youth there are many people who explore their options and experiment. Your case is nothing so out of the ordinary. So speak about it and ensure that at no point in time do you come across as being apologetic for what has transpired in the past.
14. Do not be dishonest at any point in time: It is very important that no matter what you choose to say during the course of your interview, at no point in time should you think that it would be okay to tell a lie or utter falsehoods. There is nothing to be ashamed of and you do have the right to make your own decisions in life. The interviewer will respect you more if you speak the truth with confidence, rather than tell lies like a coward. The recruiter finding out the truth could put you in an embarrassing position later on.
15. Do not keep trying to explain the same point: Finally it is important to note that, no matter what you are saying and how you are trying to explain yourself, if you notice that the interview is just fixated on this one point, then maybe this is not the company for you. At no point in time should your past determine your future in any way at all. Rather than trying to focus on this one thing alone, the interview should be more concerned with whether or not you could prove to be an indispensable part of the office as well as whether you have the credentials and the qualifications which are mandatory to be able to do the job efficiently.
So this is the way in which you can go about explaining your winding career path to the person who is interviewing you. As mentioned above, you should not be apologetic for what has happened in the past, rather you should try to use this as a weapon in your favor. If you think wisely then you can easily change your disadvantage into an advantage for yourself. What you ought to think about is that, in life you should always have your very own best interest at heart because there is no one out there looking out for you. So having your eyes and ears open is something that will really take you a long way in life.