The Career Road Less Travelled: Embracing The Unconventional

Not all career paths are created equal, something that we can all surely relate to in recent times. It seems as though we have always been hardwired to view career paths in the conventional way or structure. We finish secondary school, go to college, graduate, join the workforce and then we progress, progress, progress. However, this ‘conventional’ notion of the career path is becoming less common. I speak from experience, as my own career progression has been anything but straightforward or conventional.   

I find that drawing on my own experience really helps in my current role as a Recruiter. Understanding the challenges and changes in the current job market has led to transparency and honesty when speaking with candidates looking for more clarity in their own job search, and this is a crucial trait to have as a Recruiter.  

My career to date has been varied and changed course on a few occasions and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have had the opportunity to work with leading Irish client-side businesses in the eCommerce & Tourism industries, as well as having the chance to go back and study a Masters. Now I find myself in a completely new situation, working for the first time in an agency and in Recruitment of all things, an industry I never previously envisioned myself working in.  

The reason why I am sharing this is that my experience to date has taught me invaluable lessons about career development, and these are lessons that I would like to share with prospective candidates who may find themselves in a similar situation or at a career crossroads. Below are just some of the factor’s worth considering when weighing up your options. 

Keep an Open Mind

This may seem like an obvious one, but often times people can get tunnel vision when it comes to their next role. This is fine, of course, especially if the candidate is purely interested in focusing on one sector or industry. However, when job hunting it’s good to have an open mind and consider all avenues.

For instance, when I begun my job search after graduating my Masters in 2019, I was adamant that I would only look for specific Digital Marketing roles. Afterall, I did just complete my degree in this particular field! What I quickly learned was that so many other roles incorporated the same skills I had just studied. Titles such as PPC, SEO, Paid Search specialist and Content Specialist all played to my strengths as a Digital Marketer. The main lesson is not to draw yourself the short straw by limiting your search. Always keep an open mind. 

See the Landscape from a Different Perspective

My fellow TalentHuber Declan Whelan recently just wrote a great piece on the difference in working client-side and agency-side (check it out here). In my opinion, having experience in both environments is invaluable, as you truly get a sense of the Marketing landscape from every angle, making you a more complete marketer or candidate in the long run. This relates to my own experience, as I spent almost seven years working client-side for established Irish brands. 

Now, working in an agency, I feel as though I am seeing the industry from another perspective. This new insight allows me to speak with my candidates with knowledge and understanding of the areas they are looking to move into, while also giving me the experience to speak confidently with clients we are in business with. 

The key takeaway for candidates is that both should be considered when job hunting, as the experience you get will only make you better in the long term.  

Refresh and Broaden your Skillset

My last piece of advice is to embrace every change in your career as an opportunity to refine and refresh your existing skills or learn new ones entirely. In my own case, the shift to Recruitment has been a steep learning curve, but this was made easier due to my previous experience and qualifications in Marketing and Journalism. Don’t forget that skills are transferable. This is a great piece of insight for those of you who may be looking for a new direction in career or may be daunted by the uncertainty of going through a career change. Take comfort in knowing the strengths you already possess and don’t be afraid to lean on them in your search for a new role. 

Get in Touch!

Hopefully the above has shed a bit of light on your job search! If you are looking for a new role or interested in hearing about opportunities, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. Happy Job Hunting! 


killian bowe headshot

Killian Bowe

Recruitment Resourcer

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