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Benjamin Cucchi
3 real-world stories on how to keep up with career transitions
May 24, 2023
5 Minutes

Career change, transition, leaps. In a job market where Gen Z professionals stay at one job for only 8 months on average, what will careers look like? The future of work requires people who are adaptable and open to change, capable of reskilling and upskilling, forward-looking and in charge of their own development: the road to personal fulfillment seems to be zig-zagging.


From intensive bootcamps to the concept of transferable skills: here are 3 stories of growth, mentorship and learning that show why in the upcoming years we’ll be hearing more and more about this expression: non-linear careers.

“What used to be a straight line from college into employment is now a winding, nonlinear path, filled with economic ups and downs, multiple career changes, emerging new industries and a need to continuously add new skill sets”.
Gautam Tambay
1. Yuval: putting a nonlinear career at the service of others by becoming a mentor

Yuval Keshtcher is mainly known as the founder of UX Writing Hub, but it would be an understatement to stop there. After enrolling in law school, he started his journey as a graphic designer, then moved to UX design, gradually becoming a content creator and a community builder for the UX community – and eventually ending up as an entrepreneur helping novice UX professionals.



Just 30-40 years ago such a tale would probably feel strange. In the past, the prospect in front of you was simple: a corporate ladder. Earn a degree, get an entry-level job related to your field of study, climb the company’s hierarchy, and, finally, retire. 


This was the simple, linear and expected path – one that cannot reflect today’s ever-evolving economy, let alone the future as it is being shaped by global game-changing trends. Just think about automation, which by 2025 is projected to  simultaneously replace 85 million jobs and drive the creation of 97 million new ones (World Economic Forum, 2020)

“There is no straight path from your seat today to where you are going. Don’t try to draw that line. You will not just get it wrong, you’ll miss big opportunities. Careers are not ladders, those days are long gone, but jungle gyms”.
Sheryl Sandberg
Lean In. Women, Work and the Will to Lead
The UX Writing Academy example

In a world where only 27% of graduates have a job directly related to their major, how can adult education adapt to satisfy the new needs of the job market? Meet intensive bootcamps: highly-specialized courses which redirect students, channeling their core academic skills towards employment areas that initially might not have been on their radar. 


If you want an example, look no further than Yuval’s UX Writing Academy. Combining his experience and expertise, Yuval is helping students from a diverse range of backgrounds – journalism, English literature, video editing, you name it – to transition into UX writing in just 6 months. 

Programs like the UX Writing Academy are not essential, but can take you to your goal faster by acting as accelerators, through real-world experience. In any case, mentorship and guidance are important.
Yuval Keshtcher
2. Alexandra: leaps of faith to thrive in the nonlinear jungle

Alexandra Spark is … well, it is pretty difficult to define her professionally. From advertising to content management, passing to technical writing, her work path has been diverse. The final step happened just recently when she jumped to UX Writing thanks to Yuval Keshtcher’s UX Writing Academy. And “jumping” is the appropriate word because, as she puts it, her work-related decisions can only be described as leaps of faith. There were four in her life, and they were all driven by a “kind of burning and tingling at the same time”. And the last one happened …

One autumn day in 2019, I was on the bus on my way home. I was scrolling through Instagram when I stumbled upon a post that mentioned UX Writing. I felt a weird click and almost heard it in my head, “This is it!”. That burning/tingling sensation filled my chest once more. This little interaction sent me on a hunt.
Alexandra Spark,
Leaps of Faith: How I Switched Careers Three Times Before Finding My Passion

The hunt led her to discover content, tools, mentors, and projects that would build her new-found dream: to become the UX professional she is now. Alexandra’s story is a great example of an almost paradoxical truth related to nonlinear careers: doing it on purpose might be the best way to succeed in it


Career planning doesn’t need to be linear and can purposely seek out leaps and turns. But, to do that, self reflection is key – before moving into unknown territories, you need to know yourself first. In particular, it’s important to be self-aware about:


The constants of your life, indicating what’s meaningful and worthwhile to you.


Concrete visualizations of how you’re going to make your passions a job.


Both in the sense of the value you can add and your personal values.

3. Nii Ato: finding the thread in a nonlinear career

Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill is the founder and head career coach at Avenir Careers, but that wasn’t his dream job – it wasn’t even on his radar before 2011. Unexpected twists and turns led him to found his own business, with the goal of helping countless people like him own their story by finding a thread in their nonlinear careers paths.

From the start of my career to this day, no two jobs I’ve held have been within the same industry, let alone the same function, however, everything I have done has prepared me to be the professional I am today because of the unique path I’ve traveled.
Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill,
How to Find the Thread in Your Non-Linear Career Path

So, how can you do that? How can you find the thread of your nonlinear career development path? According to Nii Ato, reflection is critical in three main areas:


Seeing and solving the same problems in different contexts and situations, hence the possibility to provide unique perspectives and solutions

Transferable skills

The toolbox you honed through multiple experiences - and that can be transferred to other teams, departments, roles, fields and situations.


What you achieved, what you can bring thanks to your unique path, and how you’ll continue to positively influence those around you.

The shining thread that ties together all the different experiences and choices I have made on my professional journey is writing. Writing is my North Star, the one thing I followed avidly and experimented heavily with (from poetry to incredibly complex technical user manuals).
Alexandra Spark
3 stories in a nutshell
These three stories teach us that the future of work is nonlinear. It requires those who possess the courage to follow their passions, goals and values - together with the transferable skills to solve problems and have an impact, wherever they wish to go and however they wish to get there.
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