Master These 5 Skills to Flourish in Any Career – Insights from Helen Tupper (Squiggly Careers)

In today’s ever-evolving professional landscape, the ability to thrive in any career requires a unique set of skills that go beyond traditional qualifications. As aspiring professionals, we yearn for valuable insights and advice that can guide us towards success. Fortunately, Helen Tupper, co-founder of Squiggly Careers, has shared her wisdom on the matter. In this blog post, we dive into the key skills she believes are essential for flourishing in any career. From adaptability to resilience, join us as we explore Tupper’s expert recommendations that can propel your professional growth and empower you to excel in the modern workforce.

Master These 5 Skills to Flourish in Any Career – Insights from Helen Tupper (Squiggly Careers)


In today’s dynamic work landscape, careers are no longer linear. The days of climbing a corporate ladder are giving way to what Helen Tupper, co-author of “The Squiggly Career: Ditch the Ladder, Discover Opportunity, Design Your Career,” calls the squiggly career model. The squiggly career is characterized by constant exploration, pivoting, and acquiring new skills to adapt to ever-changing industry needs. In a recent episode, Tupper discussed how to navigate and develop the skills necessary for a successful squiggly career.

Values: Powering Your Career Choices

Values play a vital role in the squiggly career model. Identifying and aligning with your values helps you make informed career choices and find fulfillment at work. By understanding what truly matters to you, you can steer your career towards opportunities that resonate with your core beliefs and goals. Ask yourself: What values are important to me? How can I ensure my career reflects these values?

Key Takeaways:

  • Reflect on your personal values and assess if they align with your current career path.
  • Explore ways to incorporate your values into your work, such as volunteering opportunities or pro bono projects.
  • Prioritize companies and industries that share your values, as this can contribute to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven career.

Strengths: Leverage Your Superpowers

Identifying and leveraging your strengths is essential for career success. According to Tupper, your strengths are your natural talents and abilities that you enjoy using. By focusing on developing and utilizing your strengths, you can excel in your chosen field and stand out from the competition. Embrace your unique abilities, and ask yourself: What am I exceptionally good at? How can I leverage these strengths in my career?

Key Takeaways:

  • Take a strengths assessment to identify your core strengths. Online tools like StrengthsFinder or VIA Character Survey can provide valuable insights.
  • Seek opportunities to apply your strengths in your current role or look for new roles that allow you to leverage them.
  • Collaborate with colleagues who complement your strengths, creating a well-rounded team.

Confidence: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Confidence plays a crucial role in career progression. Many professionals experience imposter syndrome, doubting their abilities and feeling like frauds despite their achievements. Tupper emphasized the importance of building confidence and self-belief to thrive in a squiggly career. By recognizing your accomplishments and celebrating your wins, you can develop the confidence necessary to take on new challenges.

Key Takeaways:

  • Keep a record of your achievements, whether big or small, to remind yourself of your capabilities.
  • Seek feedback from trusted mentors and allies who can provide objective perspectives on your strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Continuously challenge yourself by setting stretch goals, and celebrate your progress along the way.

Networking: Building Strong Relationships

Networking is a crucial skill for success in any career. Tupper highlighted the power of building authentic relationships and nurturing connections within your industry. In a squiggly career, your network can provide valuable insights, mentorship, and future opportunities. Invest time in cultivating meaningful connections and pay it forward by helping others.

Key Takeaways:

  • Attend industry events, conferences, or virtual forums to meet professionals in your field.
  • Follow up with new connections and maintain regular communication to nurture relationships.
  • Offer support and guidance to others whenever possible, as building a supportive network benefits everyone involved.

Exploring Future Possibilities: Embracing Change and Continuous Learning

Squiggly careers are characterized by constant exploration and embracing change. Tupper stressed the importance of remaining open to new possibilities and continuously learning. By expanding your skillset and staying curious, you can future-proof your career and adapt to emerging trends and technologies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Seek out learning opportunities within your current role or through external courses and certifications.
  • Stay informed about industry trends and emerging technologies to anticipate future demands.
  • Embrace a growth mindset and view challenges as opportunities for learning and development.

Exclusive FAQs

1. What are some common challenges people face in squiggly careers?
Squiggly careers can be challenging because they require constant adaptation and skill development. It’s common for individuals to feel uncertain or overwhelmed by the ever-changing nature of their chosen field. Building resilience and embracing a growth mindset can help navigate these challenges.

2. How can I transition from a traditional career to a squiggly career?
Transitioning to a squiggly career requires self-reflection, skill assessment, and a willingness to explore new possibilities. Start by identifying your values, strengths, and areas of interest. Seek out opportunities to gain experience or transferable skills in your desired field, and leverage your existing network for support and guidance.

3. Can anyone thrive in a squiggly career, or is it meant for specific industries?
The squiggly career model can be applied to any industry or profession. It is more about the adaptable mindset and willingness to continuously learn and grow. Whether you’re in tech, healthcare, marketing, or any other field, the principles of the squiggly career can help you flourish.

4. How do I stay motivated and avoid burning out in a squiggly career?
To stay motivated and prevent burnout in a squiggly career, it’s essential to regularly check in with yourself and assess your work-life balance. Set clear boundaries, prioritize self-care, and find ways to make work feel energizing and meaningful. Regularly review your goals and celebrate your accomplishments along the way.

5. Are squiggly careers the future of work?
As the work landscape continues to evolve, the squiggly career model is becoming increasingly relevant. With industries rapidly changing and new opportunities emerging, professionals who can adapt and embrace the squiggly career mindset are well-positioned for success in the future of work.


The squiggly career model offers a refreshing perspective on career development in today’s dynamic world. By mastering the skills of values alignment, leveraging strengths, building confidence, networking, and embracing change, you can flourish in any career. Looking ahead, the future of work is squiggly, and those who embrace this mindset will find themselves well-equipped to navigate the ever-evolving professional landscape.


  1. What are some common challenges people face in squiggly careers?
  2. How can I transition from a traditional career to a squiggly career?
  3. Can anyone thrive in a squiggly career, or is it meant for specific industries?
  4. How do I stay motivated and avoid burning out in a squiggly career?
  5. Are squiggly careers the future of work?
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