READY FOR A CAREER CHANGE?
career you will have plenty of exciting opportunities
but fear of change can often hold you back. If you are
stuck in a job rut, want to change profession or have
been made redundant this could be the time to take stock
and build on your existing skills or even pursue that
new career direction. The key to change is a positive
attitude. This article will help you assess your good
points, think about your ambitions and prepare yourself
for a bright new future.
You know it is time for change when:
• You don't want to tell people what you do for a
• You haven't learnt anything new in the past year.
• You don't like the people you work with.
• You feel it is an effort to go to work.
• It is a struggle to survive on your current income.
• You can't see where your next move is in your current
• The people you know working for other organisations
doing the same job as you earn more money and get more
• You dislike the commute to work.
• You feel tired and bored all the time.
How open are you to change? Do you welcome it as an
opportunity to improve your career and make new moves?
Or does change make you feel frightened, resistant or
vulnerable? For most people change provokes a mix of
If you are stuck in a rut, you may be longing for some
new challenges but nervous about taking that step into
the unknown. It is of course much easier to cope with
change when you've instigated it. When it comes as an
unwelcome surprise, in the form of a redundancy or
relocation it may be hard to see the positive in the
situation. Being forced out of your comfort zone can be
scary but it helps if you can see even unplanned change
as a great opportunity because like it or not we all
live in a changeable work environment.
Technological advances have changed work dramatically.
Fifteen or 20 years ago you would have expected to leave
school or university and go straight into a job where
you would stay until retirement. Now the notion of a job
for life has gone and with that the trend of short-term
contracts, part-time and freelance work is increasing.
Adapting to change
The best way to manage change is to anticipate it. Keep
an eye out for future trends and the way they might
affect your job/role. Be realistic about your job. Does
your job have a future or is it in a dying industry? Has
your company made people redundant recently? What would
you do if it was you next time? Start to expect the
Adaptability is vital. The work world is changing so
must you. Are you keeping your skills up to date? Your
aim is to build a portfolio of skills that are suitable
for different jobs/roles. The more you adjust and learn
the less vulnerable you become.
Assess your skills and expertise regularly. How do they
fit in with current market? You see most people don't
plan their career until they hit a crisis in it. When
this happens the mind isn't that clear as the emotions
get in the way. So the person looks for a short term
solution or a short term fix which may not be as
satisfactory in the long run.
Only make a move if you are ready to do so. Pressure
from colleagues can make you feel that you should move
on when you may actually be happy where you are. If your
job is interesting, pays well and offers you training
opportunities and career progression, why rush to leave
it? But if you stay put too long you may lose your
confidence to make a career move.
The best thing is to list the pros and cons of staying
where you are. For example,
Reasons for staying
• The company is recognised in its field
• You have a great boss who is committed to seeing you
progress in your career
• You have good training opportunities.
Reasons for leaving
• Your boss has been there for years and you feel as if
you are waiting for 'dead man's shoes'
• The company is being bought out
• Your work is boring and routine.
What do you really want job-wise?
The key is to focus your mind on what you really want.
Which aspects of your job do you want to carry on doing?
Which aspects of your job do you want to let go of? Do
you want to earn more money? Are you after a job
promotion or a sideways move?
Do your homework
Set aside some time to do a self appraisal. You have to
assess yourself carefully before deciding what to do
next or you could fill in a personality profile to help
you. List down on a piece of paper what you value about
work, your core skills, your personal strengths and your
ambitions. What did you learn about yourself? Try to
talk to others in the same profession or job you want.
Concentrate on your action plan not on what's gone wrong
in the past - especially if you have been made
redundant. Remember it's the job and skills that have
been made redundant, not you. Don't feel like a failure
it happens to most people in their career.
Remember fear is universal and change is scary. However
isn't it more scary to spend your whole life stuck in a
rut or not doing what you want to be doing? Try and
handle change now and meet the challenge head on rather
than look back and regret all of those missed
opportunities. If you need help with your job change