My top 5 reasons for curating an IMPERFECT CV. And so should you.
There is no perfect or singular path to career success. Back yourself!
Cassandra (Leong) Lister
Fate and destiny are paths we can’t control. Influence, yes, Control, no. As a child, all I wanted was to get married, have kids. Marry someone who was wealthy enough to support the family so, that I didn’t have to work. That’s not how my life panned out (fortunately!).
When I joined the Global Banking & Markets industry, I was seduced by the annual salary, the annual bonus, the advancement of corporate titles. Without a strong sense of self-identity and confidence, it’s an addiction that many of us fall victim to. That aura of authority, power and money. Beliefs that don’t create a better corporate culture or society.
Whenever I spoke with external recruiters, they made it very clear that a tenure of less than 10 years (+/- 2) with one company was frowned upon by future employers.
Therefore, up until about a decade ago, I was intent on curating the perfect CV. The one that many people still view as being ‘successful’. It looks similar to this:
- 15+ years with one company (I know many executives who have clocked up 25+ years; the industry calls them ‘Lifers’)
- Every 3–5 years, change of roles internally (the new roles may include relocating to another city/another country)
- Each change in role is more senior than the last; certainly no less than a lateral move
I mean who doesn’t love a picture-perfect career story. Like the person who started in the mail room and worked his way to the Group CEO role. Yes, this happens. But only for a tiny, tiny fraction of the population. I’m not saying this is wrong. I’m saying it’s an unrealistic goal. Especially now we’re in a digital disruption economy.
Fast forward to 2021 and my CV looks nothing like either of the above examples. And I’m happy because these are the benefits I’ve reaped:
- Extra quality time with the family: Any working parent understands this dilemma. Time is finite and yet we spend most of our waking hours devoted to our jobs. Each redundancy ‘bought me’ additional time.
- Learned new skills: I used my career breaks to learn new skills...technical and non-technical. There was even one where I was paid to learn a completely different business.
- Real-life MBA: Working for 4 different financial institutions in the past 11 years exposed me to different company cultures, different leadership styles, different business issues and how each dealt with them. Why pay $$ to study a MBA degree when I can get real-life experience.
- Increased mental resilience: The more I ‘failed’ and was ‘rejected’ by future companies, the deeper I dug into developing healthy and positive coping mechanisms.
- Developed a growth mindset: it’s only when we learn to embrace uncertainty and challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones, do we truly grow.
Cassandra (Leong) Lister
Mother of twins. Commonwealth citizen. Former Global Banker. Aspiring book author. All stories and opinions published are my own.