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The Career Shenanigans of a Career Expert

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There’s a bumpy road behind many professionals. That also includes career experts. So if you think that a career expert and a Certified Professional Resume Writer has had clear career goals, a concise career development plan, and was heading towards a precise career goal…

Better quickly read my article, which summarizes all the aspects of my career that I wasn’t too ashamed to share on the Internet.

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Dreams vs Goals

Being a dreamer and a creative soul doesn’t make your professional life easy. Oh, on the contrary, it makes it almost impossible to tell what your dreams and real-life career goals are. After all, you want to make cool stuff and get paid for that. You want that dream job out of your checklist.

My dreams checklist always seemed a bit out of hand. Only recently did I stop asking myself where all my BAFTAs that I had dreamt of when I was twelve were. Not long ago, I stopped visiting a page that tells its users what David Bowie was up to when he was their age. If you value your mental health, don’t Google it. Unless you’re David Bowie, then you’re golden.

Thinking about career goals seems such a grown-up thing to do, isn’t it? If you’re not going to be an artist, you will probably become yet another dull adult. A cog in the money-making machine. Not very punk rock.

But that thinking leads nowhere nice. So, on my 28th birthday, I decided to change my way of thinking about it. I took matters into my own hands, put on my adult trousers, and fully conquered the world of startups. I had a feeling this might be a good place for a creative thinker who doesn’t want to starve to death but has a pleasant life, a cool job, and tons of prospects instead.

It was October 2019. Then the COVID pandemic happened. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start from the beginning.

Fresh Start with Startups

My initial search for a clear career path included working as a gardener, bartender, teacher, and journalist. Then, I spent 8 years in different startups, starting as an intern and ending as a brand manager while being a freelance in the meantime. But again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

If you’ve never worked in a startup, here’s my advice: don’t expect anything. Like honestly, I don’t know how to wrap my head around those eight years and how to describe them in an article, even though I make a living out of my writing.

Maybe a book one day?

Let’s go down memory lane:

  • I had brainstorming sessions with the CEO of a multi-million-dollar startup. 
  • I was given the freedom to re-shape the entire website, translate two apps, and create promotional videos.
  • I was hiring juniors for their first jobs, seeing them becoming professionals and seeing us becoming great friends.
  • I saw people leaving one startup to open their own, encouraged by the CEO, who was and still is loudly proud of their success.
  • I was offered a huge promotion and got fired the next week.
  • I was denied payment for my work because I decided to leave.
  • I was sitting at my desk for 13 months, not having anything to do.
  • I saw the entire company get fired and re-hired within an hour.

All that in 8 different startups. Don’t count; there are seven bullet points above.

I took a half-year break between them to study abroad and rethink my career. Came back and returned to work for yet another startup because it was potentially fun, potentially educating, potentially perspective, despite potentially damaging, potentially stressful, and potentially wrong.

  • The thing about small companies is that sometimes the atmosphere is amazing, and you have tons of possibilities to grow.
  • The thing about small companies is that sometimes they are poorly governed, and there is no HR to take care of you when something bad happens.

To Make a Change

As I grew older, working in different startups, I soon realized that it takes so much of my time and nerves, that I didn’t pay attention to anything else. I finished literature studies, but never thought about applying back to the theater school. I stopped playing in a band and in a theatrical group. So, finally, I decided to focus on myself.

But it’s hard to focus on yourself when you don’t have peace in your life. That’s how I felt for a long time. When I decided to do something about it, the pandemic started, and I decided to work strictly from home. So, I went full freelance.

Having decent time management skills, I was able to work at three companies simultaneously. At one point, I worked for three companies while still getting freelance jobs. That was the moment I started having those daily calls with my lawyer about people not being willing to pay for work. Not because it was poorly done; that’s not the case. The case was: We’re in the pandemic, the times are difficult.

I had poor stress-management skills, I wasn’t able to deal with that long. I returned to the advertisement but quickly realized I wasn’t happy. I wanted to have more time for my new family and do some good for the world.

But what could that be?

Career Expert 

In 2022, my resume was 4 pages long. 

I left some positions out of it. I don’t mention the companies that turned out to be mistakes, and you won’t find them on my LinkedIn, either. I will never mention a company where there was an active bet on how long I would last working with my superior. One hire lasted a week, and the previous one lasted 4 hours. I lasted a full month, but it surely wasn’t worth a second of my stress.

My resume was enormous, but it wasn’t a career expert resume. Unless, by a career expert, you mean someone who tried it all, applied for multiple companies, got hired by tens of them, refused to start work in hundreds of them, and got rejected after thousands of interviews. In that case, sure, it’s THE career expert resume. Even if my numbers are slightly exaggerated. 

If Zety hadn’t hired me, I would have still left my last company. That would be the first time since theater school that I would quit without a plan B. I was never as stressed as when I was waiting for the decision. I gathered my family as if I was on the deathbed or something, lol.

I was so stressed because I realized that Zety is exactly what my career plan is: to help people who faced similar shenanigans during their professional journey. Not only that, but I want to help them realize that their job is only a job and they can always change it if they are not happy. I want to tell them that, very often, all they need to do is write a good resume and a decent cover letter

To wish them good luck at the end of pretty much all my guides. To tell them they’ve got this.

Being a career expert is very rewarding. I always imagine that someone learns something that can shift their career into the right path. I know well that my friends and family are benefiting from my expertise: a friend of mine got invited to 100% of the job interviews she sent her resume for. My wife got offered 3 jobs after 3 interviews. These results don’t lie.

Having a rewarding job allows me to once again focus on what I want from life. Writing has become my true main passion, and I started working on a book that has pushed all the other dreams away for now. 

And it turned out that having a rewarding job is also right there on my checklist.


One More Thing

Let me leave you with some words of wisdom that I’d have loved to have heard those couple of years ago. Perhaps this will help you:

  • Tailor your resume to the job offer every time. That doesn’t only mean changing slightly your skills section. Think about which of your achievements align with the new role in the specific company. Write a more targeted resume profile. Visit their website and social media channels. Use all resume keywords you can find.
  • Focus on your relevant achievements, not on your duties. Every employee has duties, and every resume on a pile on your recruiter’s desk probably lists duties. The resume that stands out shows what a candidate has accomplished, not what his day-to-day tasks were. And that’s the winning resume.
  • Show numbers. Numbers pop on every resume. Quantify your achievements to show you understand their importance and see their impact. Sometimes, raw numbers work better than percentages, so consider when to choose which.
  • Don't ignore non-traditional work. There’s a solid chance you’ve got plenty of relevant experience, even though you’re writing an entry-level resume. Think more about what you’ve done in the past and how your knowledge, skills, and qualifications will benefit your future employer.
  • Think about your employer more than you think about yourself. Sounds harsh, but from the reader’s perspective, you’re here for them. You’re here to benefit the company, to make the change, and, at the end of the day, to make the company more money. Show that you understand that by addressing their needs and concerns.
  • Always add a cover letter. That’s the rule. About 56% of employers want to see a cover letter. Do you think you can miss half the chances that go your way?
  • Reread your resume and your cover letter. Then, reread them again. Then, ask someone else to read them for you. Then, reread them one more time. There’s nothing more embarrassing than finding a typo in “copywriter” on your resume. Trust me, I should now. I mean, know.
  • Prepare for an interview. Remember, if you add something to your resume, your recruiter might (and probably will) ask you about it. Practice possible questions and create impressive answers. Be ready to nail the interview, and don’t rely on your good luck.

That’s it from me for now. If you enjoyed what you’ve read, and you can relate, let’s talk in the comment section below.

If you’d like to read some of my articles, here’s a short list:

Hope your journey leads you to your dream job. And remember, if you’re unhappy with your current job, don’t stick around for too long. Change it, keep searching, and find what makes you happy. Good luck. You’ve got this.

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.


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Maciej Tomaszewicz, CPRW
Maciej is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career expert and resume writer with a versatile professional background, creating tools for job seekers in various industries. His creative writing background and HR-related experience allow him to create highly readable articles clarifying even the most complicated professional development aspects. Since 2022, he has authored guides on professional resumes and cover letters, written articles on work-related scenarios, and developed research-based career advice.

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