Growing up in a family where most people either joined the military or worked on a farm, I don’t think anyone imagined I would grow up to be an entrepreneur. Not even me.
I had far more traditional paths in mind. I considered medical school, teaching, and advertising. I imagined doing all of these things in the military. I would follow the same path as my family.
Of course, my family had all the advice in the world. My mom had random advice like, “join the Navy, their PT test are the easiest.” I was always training for some drill I hadn’t started yet whether it was doing pushups and sit ups timed in our yard or running a mile.
Ask my Navy grandfather and you’d hear an entirely different set of advice about joining up and where to get stationed.
Career Pathing: Family Matters
However, when I decided to take another career path into the world of tech and startups, my family didn’t have so much advice. In fact, they didn’t really understand what I did at all.
They didn’t understand that I didn’t have a clearly defined career path or standard benefits. I wish you could have seen how horrified my Mom was the first time she looked at the healthcare benefits I got with my first job. “You pay for this,” she said with disgust, not as much of a question as an observation.
Health insurance wasn’t the only thing different about civilian life versus the military careers they lived. There was so much about my career they just couldn’t teach me because they hadn’t been there or done that before.
Read Between The Lines Of A Job Post
The first was about job titles.
Y’all. They are made up. You do not need to chase them, put them in any kind of order or work all night to get them. Every company is different and you should chase great ideas and teams you want to work with, not the next title.
You should also be looking out for and understanding what job titles exist at other companies. Here’s how.
Search your current job title and the word resume on Google. Then, click on the image search results. Here you’ll find a ton of resumes and potential career paths you can take. Career pathing by Google, I guess.
You’ll discover potential job titles no one would know to tell you about, simply because career paths aren’t as linear as they used to be. There isn’t a “one size fits all” when it comes to job titles, and expanding what job titles you’re applying to is a great way to increase your odds at finding the right opportunity for you.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.