6 Benefits of Nonlinear Careers When Transitioning to a New Industry

Calendar Icon
July 6, 2021
Edited by
Clock Icon
min read

Have you ever sat down at your work desk and asked yourself in frustration, "what am I doing here?" You're not alone in that feeling.

A recent Microsoft Work Trend Index study found that 40% of people plan on changing jobs in 2021. Another survey of workers in the U.K. and Ireland put the number at 38% and a similar U.S. survey found 26% of workers are considering a career move in the next few months. 

Statistics like that are commonplace in today's job market. Employers don’t frown on jumping from job to job as much as in previous eras, and the benefits of transitioning industries and taking a nonlinear career approach are many. The newest generation of workers is resilient and open to change.

In this article, we'll explain what a few of the benefits are of nonlinear careers and how that leap onto the floor may not be as tough as you think.

Organize your nonlinear career transition with Teal’s Job Application Tracker. Use the built-in tools to manage contacts, communication templates, follow up dates, keywords, and more.

Try Teal's Job Application Tracker for free.

Trajectory Rerouted

Disparate skills and experiences really draw people to new positions and help them move up when transitioning careers. With huge advancements in technology and an ever-shifting professional landscape, the need for flexibility in the workforce is paramount.

However, with the current working generation, being flexible already seems to be the norm. Career paths are more meandering than the previous generations, focusing a bit more on autonomy and job satisfaction.

Gone are the days in which an employee stays with the same company all the way until retirement.

Straight Shot

Speaking of, let's briefly discuss that linear career path. It's as the name implies: a straight line forward.

Say your dream career is to become a doctor. You, along with almost everyone else, take similar steps to get there. An undergraduate degree turns into medical school, residency, and securing that job as a doctor.

That's overly simplifying the process, but essentially it boils down to: you pick a traditional role and the process to get you there is pretty cut and dry. You know what you're in for over the next 40 years or so.

With a nonlinear path, the possibilities and experiences can be endless. Is your end goal the job itself? Or is it the autonomy to adapt to a shifting landscape? Is there an end goal?

Let's explore further. If you're thinking of making an industry transition, below are 6 of the benefits to nonlinear careers to refer to if you're thinking of making a career change.

1. Passion

This is one benefit that speaks for itself. You can go for a job that you love.

Have you always wanted to become a museum art curator but you're currently bogged down working as a cashier at an art supply store? You can easily use the knowledge you've gained at your current job and apply it to your dream job.

It's not always so black and white, but regardless of whether you're interested in an inter-industry shift or a complete change in industries, it's completely okay to work toward a fulfilling role. In fact, it's entirely doable.

2. Progress

With any job change, you're able to pick up a new skill set. This aids in the progression of your career trajectory and gives you an edge on the competition.

A switch in jobs may provide a positive progression toward work-life balance as well. Personal and professional progress go hand-in-hand.

3. Opportunity

The financial opportunity or paycheck bump that comes with changing to a new job or career is a well-known perk. It's difficult to get a large bump in pay while remaining with the same company year after year, as not all companies give their employees a cost-of-living raise.

Switching up your current job to earn a higher salary can also provide an opportunity to climb toward a role with a bigger title as well. 

4. Flexibility

Working a variety of jobs for various companies throughout your career can give you a leg up. The knowledge and expertise you gain throughout the years will allow you to more easily apply said knowledge to whichever industry you end up in next.

By taking on a range of different jobs, not only will your character and resume grow, but your general and specific skill sets will as well. A flexible set of skills will help your experience broaden and your potential for success widen. For example, skills you develop in the hospitality industry are highly transferable to many service jobs.

5. Relationships

The wider you cast your net, the more professional relationships you will make.

By changing industries, you'll be able to enjoy a wider network of colleagues and friends. The wider network can allow you to soak up the knowledge of your peers and improve your business acumen.

In addition, the more you learn, the more you can pass on what you've learned. Your skills will grow, and you will give back to others who were once in your position.

6. Shifts

Getting out of your comfort zone is scary, but an industry change can help open you up to a world of possibilities. Invest in your future self by challenging yourself in the present.

Aren't entirely sure yet what you want to do? Look around. In today's world, you can get your feet wet in several industries and enjoy the ride toward finding your purpose.

Straight Ahead to Nonlinear Careers

As an employee, the value you bring to a workplace is no longer rooted in how long you're metaphorically chained to one desk. Rather, companies appreciate an employee's ability to change and adapt to an ever-evolving workplace.

If you're willing to try new things, you've already put yourself ahead. Making yourself available and adaptable is a key component for thriving in the 21st-century workplace.

If you're thinking of changing careers, now is a perfect time to do so. Nonlinear careers are no longer frowned upon.

The opportunity to jump in is at your doorstep. Life is short. Take the leap.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can a nonlinear career path enhance my adaptability when transitioning to a new industry?

A nonlinear career path often involves diverse experiences across various roles and industries, which can significantly enhance your adaptability. It equips you with a broad skill set and the ability to quickly learn and apply new concepts, making you more agile and better prepared to tackle the unique challenges of a new industry.

What are the advantages of having a varied professional background in today's job market?

A varied professional background can make you a more attractive candidate in today's job market as employers increasingly value transferable skills and innovative thinking. It demonstrates your capacity for growth, problem-solving from different angles, and the ability to bring fresh perspectives to the table, all of which are crucial in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

Can a nonlinear career path impact my long-term career satisfaction and growth?

Yes, pursuing a nonlinear career path can positively impact your long-term career satisfaction and growth. It allows you to explore different fields and roles, leading to a deeper understanding of your strengths and preferences. This self-awareness can guide you to more fulfilling job opportunities that align with your interests and values, ultimately contributing to sustained career satisfaction and progression.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

We help you find
the career dream.