A job for life is a concept that is becoming extinct, the evolution of our life now runs hand in hand with the evolution of our career. Which means we constantly have to up-skill and adapt, to acquire new roles, that meet our needs and align with our purpose.
Research shows that people change careers up to 5 times in their lifetime (Helen Barett, Financial Times). There are many reasons why people change career direction, it could be to meet that coveted work/life balance, to follow their passion, or the career they fell into just doesn’t work for them anymore. To paraphrase the words of Heraclitus the only certainty is change.
It is a privilege that most of us live in an era where we can make a decision to change direction and put the wheels in motion to move into a different position. It is no longer frowned upon to have many different job titles on a CV. Employers can see the advantage of hiring a candidate who has worked in a few differing roles, it means they have learnt many different styles of work, are adaptable and may bring a new skillset or point of view to the organisation.
How to know when it is time for a change
- You’ve checked out – you go into work on auto pilot, and feel as though you are going through the motions. The drive you once felt to do a good job has gone and you make minimal effort to meet the requirements of your daily tasks.
- It’s impacting your personal life – when the stress of your job is eating into your time off and the thoughts of work commitments are causing you anxiety when you are out with family and friends. While some element of this can be normal i.e something your spouse said might remind you of an email you forgot to send. However, if it is causing you angst at a time where you are supposed to be getting some R&R then it is really time to weigh up your options.
- You don’t feel your worth is being recognised – if you are putting in extra hours, going above and beyond but there is no sign of career progression or proper recognition.
- It’s not true to who you are – if some of your work doesn’t sit quiet right with you and your ethos. If you feel the way the organisation operates or treats employees isn’t as you believe it should be.
There are lots of factors that can contribute to the above and sometimes it can be down to company culture, if this is the case a move across to a similar job in a different organisation may be the answer. But if you find yourself daydreaming about what you wanted to be as a kid or that the role isn’t in line with your values or expectations then it is time to look at a shift in direction.
There are many small steps you can take to set about changing career, it can and most likely will be a lengthy process but a rewarding one. So, start small to make sure it’s the right move before handing in your notice!
- Ask family and friends – if you’re not sure of what route to take ask those who know you best to describe what they believe your strengths to be and look into jobs that link in with these.
- Research, research, research – look into courses, maybe try a short introductory course first to get a feel for the career you are thinking of moving into. There are podcasts on literally every topic now Listen to a podcast that is focused on your desired career and see if you really find the ins and outs as interesting as you thought.
- Reach out – if someone you know is working in the area you are hoping to get into reach out to them. Or find somebody on LinkedIn that is working in the company you really want to work for send them a message. It is an ideal opportunity to ask the burning questions you have in your mind and get their opinion on the best way to get into their industry.
- Engage with a career consultant – Strengthen confidence with the guidance of a professional career coach. Who will be able to do an in-depth assessment and analysis of your skills to point you in the right direction and career path suited to your needs.
While many find change daunting, exploring new career paths and finding new passions, is a rewarding and insightful journey that leads to development and growth. Contact us if you need more support in making your next career move – firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Griffin 29/07/2020