1. Hita says...

    Career hike! Thanks for the reminder that even when you are making slow progress up a tricky slope, it’s okay!

  2. Kim says...

    I’m starting to think the “by the lovely Mari Andrew” should be updated to “by the insightful (as all hell) Mari Andrew.” She nails it every time!!

    Career hike, too true!

    I’ve really enjoyed you adding these to Fridays, by the way. Thank you for supporting a writer/illustrator!

    • Hita says...

      Hear hear!

  3. I love this! I’m definitely a hopscotch, despite thinking I would be on a career track when I started out. You just never know where life will take you x

  4. Katie says...

    I’ve been playing career hopscotch. I’ve loved each job, but moved onto another field when it was time.

  5. This is so apt! I would be interested to see an overview of the generational differences and how they apply to the various “career résumés.” For many, it seems the straight career path is becoming obsolete. Personally, I find it comforting to know that others are facing more non-traditional paths – easy to get bogged down thinking there is one right way to approach a career. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Cynthia says...

    I’m on that career track. Haha straight and narrow to the final end goal! So boring but saves time, stress, and money.

  7. Maria says...

    love this. as a definite hop-scotcher, i truly appreciate this. i did everything “right” – went to college, got my BFA, got my MA – even switched my major (from interior design to fine arts education) thinking it was the smarter, more reliable path. i loved teaching, but yes – so very difficult to find a full-time, public school art teaching gig. taught in private schools for 10 years, my last school closed – and i tried to move on. could not land a new teaching gig, hop-scotched around quite a bit, and where am i now? – an interior designer. haha. was a design manager, job disappeared so might hop-scotch to something else. point is – there is no “right way” and certainly no certainty. and, life goes on. anyhoo – always enjoy mari’s illustrations but this one struck a particular chord so felt compelled to comment. always appreciate her “understanding” … :)

  8. Gen says...

    As always, Mari nails it.

  9. Lindsay says...

    Yep, this applies time. Sending out resumés for positions that I feel I’d excel at, but since I’d be straying from my professional experience, it’s hard to be taken seriously.

    The meandering career path seems to fit me at the moment.

    Open to thoughts on getting noticed in a competitive field.

  10. I don’t even know what mine is… Feels like it could be a career hike because it’s not easy to find a job with mine. I’m too inexperienced :(. Anyway, love this!!! The visual is on point!

  11. Olivia says...

    I’ve always felt rather pleased (smug, to be honest) that I was on the career track from high school onward, always the youngest person in my class/field…until about 2 years into my career when I realized I was a) now, with some experience, very capable and b) also kind of let down by a sense of not really working towards a goal any longer, nor as fulfilled professionally as I thought I’d be. Definitely made me stop and consider what I wanted from my career (aka caused an identity crisis, which I’m still sorting out). It’s tough no matter how you get there!

  12. M. says...

    This punches right in the gut. Why does it feel so hard to first find and then land the job of your dreams? Do dream jobs exist? How does one find it in this busy and tiring thing called life? At the end of the day, I’d so much rather sink next to my husband and read my book than try to soul search and actually search for the right job.

    But feeling stuck and bored ain’t so fun, either…

    • Claire says...

      yes, right there with you with, on the book and all these questions, and more questions too.

    • Amber says...

      Hear! Hear! One hundred percent. We’re in this together.

    • B says...

      Yes totally!! It’s nice to hear I’m not alone actually ☺️

  13. Jacqueline says...

    Needed to see this today. Two interviews this week, one loooooong waiting game ahead. Mine has been all these at one point or another.

    • Claire says...

      best of luck!

  14. I just love this. And for all the different careerists out there, know that there is no right path and that you can actually end up in the same place you were meant to by taking a number of these options!

  15. eliot says...

    Oof. I think mine is more of a ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jump! I was just revising my resume last night and it was…confusing. In what feels like a previous life I was an engineer. After a few years I realized that career was not for me (why do we have to choose who we want to be forever when we’re still children?) and through the most random twists and turns, I had fallen in love with Sanskrit. So, I quit my job and decided to shoot for the moon by applying to graduate school. It has been the best decision of my life. Now I live in Boston and have the most fulfilling life I never imagined for myself. But, because there’s always a “but,” I’m graduating in May and before applying for PhD programs, I’d like to save a bit of money. How do I convince someone that they should hire a former-engineer-turned-Sanskritist as their personal assistant, office manager, etc.? Anyone’s wisdom is appreciated! (If you’re still reading, thanks for entertaining my existential meltdown!)

    • Catie says...

      I think this is a case of spinning your transferable skills and not your field(s). To me, the combo you’ve got above suggests great critical thinking, problem solving, research, probably writing, and ability to work to a range of deadlines (short, mid- and long-term), as well as to work well with a team (depending on the kind of engineering job you were in, I suppose). I’m just about to finish a phd in things ancient, and while I’d like to stay in this field (despite our terrible job market), I think humanities grad programs leave you with a LOT of skills you can bring to a whole array of positions in other industries and fields.

    • Daisy says...

      Well, first of all Kudos to your courage for changing career tracks. First of all you should let potential employers know that how you have managed to study 2 most complicated things- Engineering and Sanskrit and that they should be Thanking their Stars for hiring you:)

      I am from India and attempted to study Sanskrit for a year and it was one of the most difficult things that I have done in my life and this inspite of knowing Hindi. So, more power to you.

    • Yulia says...

      I work in a high-level office and often serve on search committees where we encounter people who are clearly intelligent and driven in their particular field, but have little or no experience in administration. Clearly they are bright, clearly they have tons of transferable skills, and quite likely they could learn on the job and excel. But I’ll be frank: there are always bright candidates who have done the job before, and those are the candidates who are going to get interviews.

      Don’t give up applications–you never know!–but perhaps trying temping in the meantime if you’d like to make some money working in an office. Lots of people get their feet wet and build up their experience in new fields by doing temp work, and every agency these days offers health insurance and all that. Office jobs more often than others can also turn temporary positions into permanent hires pretty easily. Even if you come into a low-level job with no experience, if you do well a company may decide you are worth the training investment and keep you on full-time.

      There is lots of hope out there! Good luck!

  16. Erica says...

    I’m a career advisor at a college in Boston – I just printed this out and hung it in my office :)

  17. Amazing! Definitely relate to the career hopstotch!

  18. Celeste says...

    Meanderer here. Thanks.

  19. Rachel says...

    So true! I’m currently on the career hopscotch. My “career” has been random and surprising with big pauses in the middle (kids!).
    Love this.

  20. L says...

    Love. Needed this.

  21. Oh boy, I needed this one.

  22. Rachel says...

    For the moms: you need one that is the career track on the upper left, but that has a break, and then keeps on going right where it left off!

    • Rae says...

      Maybe a mountainside with a crevasse that you have to climb out of to continue the trail on the other side? That is how it feels to me…

    • Anita says...

      I agree with you, Rae. It hasn’t been that seamless for me either. I have had to reinvent a much more aggressive version of myself. Fighting to get back in the game (out for 6 years). No one was “holding my place,” as it were.

    • Mair says...

      Amen to this illustration and this thread…

      Taking time off for 4 years was what I needed to do (and a privilege I will acknowledge). But it’s clear that after three years back in the workforce, I’m still being punished for the time I took off.

      I’m with you sisters.

    • Chelsi says...

      I agree. How does a career woman turned mom get back in the game? Or start in a new game? It seems so daunting right now but also like something I desperately need for my own well being. I’d love to see a COJ series on working moms who started over after staying home with their babies.

    • Rachel says...

      Rae – you made me laugh, although I know it’s not funny. The way I described it is how it will look only when you look back on it a few years later. In the moment, it is so hard. But if that image were widely accepted, perhaps it would actually feel less hard in the moment.

  23. Love this! Mine is definitely the Hike, especially if you add landmines and hostile forces en route.

  24. Denise says...

    This one is poignant. Thanks for reminding me there are many many many paths and I can get off this one and there will be others.