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Why linear career paths aren’t viable anymore

Career paths aren't linear anymore. Source: Getty

Sally-Ann Williams will speak about the future of work at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit on the 26th September 2019 in the Shangri-La, Sydney. Check out the full line-up of speakers and agenda for this groundbreaking event here.

Sally-Ann Williams completed a Masters in international relations and Japanese at Griffith University, and went on to become an executive program manager at Google.

Now, as CEO of Cicada Innovations, a company that helps other technology companies’ research come to fruition, Williams is a good case for why career paths aren’t linear anymore.

“We've always talked about careers being linear. You know, you do accounting, you become an account. You do medicine, you become a doctor. You do law, you become a lawyer,” Williams said.

“But the reality is most people that actually do law or and have done law for the last 30 odd years are not practicing lawyers and are not actually doing any legal work whatsoever.”

“Karen Andrews, who's a federal minister, has a mechatronics degree. Not your typical pathway to becoming a politician, but incredibly valuable if you ever hear her talk,” Williams explained.

“She talks about the engineering perspective and the problem-solving skills and how she applies that to politics.”

And instilling the notion that linear career paths aren’t viable at a cultural level is something that will aid young Aussies prepare for the future workforce.

Yahoo Finance's All Markets Summit will take place on September 26th. Source: Supplied

A focus on skills, rather than degrees

Williams said Aussies need to start being “more flexible” with ourselves, and focus on our skills rather than pigeon-hole ourselves to degrees.

“The conversation that we need to have is not a disciplinary conversation,” Williams said.

Rather, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What are the skills that you are developing? How do they translate between industries?’”

“Every job is constantly evolving, every job is constantly changing, and we don't need to fear it.”

“We need to know that we have the capacity as humans, and we always have had the capacity to actually go on that journey and evolve with that economic shift as well.”

Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit will take place on the 26th September 2019 in the Shangri-La, Sydney. Check out the full line-up of speakers and agenda for this groundbreaking event here.