Choosing a nontraditional career path isn't the easiest approach, but it's one that makes job candidates more appealing to a smart recruiter.
It is natural to experience anxiety when choosing the road less traveled. This anxiety can be used as an opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally. The key is to use the discomfort productively and master overwhelming situations.
A lesser-known company will most likely have more learning opportunities where you can challenge yourself and broaden your scope.
Big companies can be very good for professionals at the beginning of their careers as they have the resources to train people well. But large companies tend to be complex, bureaucratic organisations, and you may be unable to progress your career quickly.
Don't pretend that you don't have obligations outside of the office. Instead, set expectations at work and home to achieve enough balance to thrive in each environment.
Keeping a work-life balance is essential. Women, In particular, should force themselves to have uncomfortable conversations with their managers about other priorities, such as children and family obligations.
Keep in mind that there's no such thing as a perfect leader. It often means recognizing and learning from the strengths and weaknesses of whoever your leaders are and translating it into skills you can use in the future.
In truth, no one is good at everything. Some people are amazing leaders, and others are smart and creative but terrible at managing people.
Doing the unexpected feeds the idea that you understand what real work looks like, creates a healthy culture, and established your role as a leader.
Taking on tasks and responsibilities that are "below your pay grade" builds trust and goodwill with your teams. It also squashes the ego.
By acknowledging your anxiety and moving through the discomfort, you learn how to manage it instead of letting it control you.
For some people, the anxiety that comes with navigating a career can be unpleasant, but it can be debilitating for others.