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How To Stay Flexible With Careers

Hi friends,

One thing that university students seem to stress a lot about is whether or not they will like their future career. Choosing courses, a major, and a job is a lot of stress to these teens and young adults. I never could relate though, which I attribute to my dad. My dad had nine jobs before landing at his current one. So today, I decided to interview my dad, Daryl Twist, and have him share his experience going through many jobs.


Daryl Twist has had many jobs since university. From working in construction to the Canadian Navy, to a personal banker to the lead of strategic planning and investment for the BC Government (Forestry). These are just a few of the hats Twist has worn.


But how was Twist able to transfer through such diverse jobs so well? He says, "it's a lot to do with going in with some knowledge, but mainly with a learning mindset." A person must come in with an adequate amount of knowledge but realize that you don't know everything and keep an open mind. People in a team have different strengths and every role is part of the team.


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However, it is not always easy to switch into new jobs. "It's always tough learning the culture and mindset of different groups," says Twist. Some organizations are very open and work well together already, others not so much. No matter what, you must respect the way people work and understand what works best for them. Do not come in trying to change it. That is the hardest part: learning the different cultures and the individuals to then strengthen the organization.


So, what are some top skills Twist recommends? First is an open learning mindset. A person must be willing to be vulnerable. When you go get hired it's because you have qualities the organization likes, however, you have to remember that you don't know it all and there will be areas you need to grow in. A great part of being on a team is the fact that you can learn from others, you just have to be vulnerable first to ask for help.


Twist also recommends respect. You have to respect the people you work with even if it's different than your previous job(s). "The person's job is important to them. People get value from their jobs so don't ever disrespect someone's role on the team" says Twist.


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Now that Twist is in a position where he gets to hire people, I was interested in knowing what he looks for hiring. "Of course there needs to be the knowledge base - a person must be competent and capable in their job," says Twist. Beyond that, it is a lot of soft skills. The willingness to learn, willingness to help, and willingness to fit in with the team are very important. These are the things that make a person a good applicant for many different types of jobs.


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