Time for a new career direction?

Posted: Thursday January 11 2018

By: Guest Blogger

Whether you’re thinking of taking a new job that’ll work better around family life, or are contemplating a complete change in profession ahead of returning to work after a break, looking at taking a new career direction can understandably seem a daunting prospect.

Time for a new career direction?

Why Change Direction

There’s a vast number of reasons to justify why you may think its time for a new career direction: to have more flexible hours; to increase job satisfaction; job share options; to become your own boss; to be challenged; to ease pressure etc. For some, the fear of change or the financial implications are enough to maintain the status quo, keeping the pursuing of that new career at the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list, but at the top of the ‘one-day’ list.

Flexibility

When you take time off to raise a family, the “break” from the daily routine of your working life offers a natural opportunity to reflect and take stock of your career. You can evaluate things with a new perspective that time away and a bit of distance can often bring about. Ask yourself key questions – Do you enjoy your job? Are you missing it? Will it offer you the flexibility you now need with a family to consider? Are there other options out there? Will a different career provide greater career satisfaction? What do I need to do to make the change?

As a working parent the implications of a career change mean extra consideration has to be paid to any potential impact or repercussions to your family life. First things first, (in the words of all aspiring actors!) ask yourself –

What’s my motivation?’ 

understand why you want to change career before you do anything. Make sure it’s for the right reason. Is it to a job you’ve always wanted to do? Will it offer you better opportunities? Will it provide better work-life balance? Is it because you’re feeling bored or unsatisfied in your current job? If it’s the latter, how long have you felt this way? Is it a temporary phase? All of us at one time or another have experienced times in our working lives when we’re not enjoying our job. But, if that dissatisfaction has taken its toll and you’re also answering yes to the earlier questions, maybe now is the time to think seriously about the steps you have to take to make the change.

If you are ready to grab a new opportunity, establish a new professional identity and walk a new path, here are a few tips to consider along the way:

Do your research!

Obvious but essential. Does your desired job require specific qualifications or certificates? How can you attain these credentials? Also, look at expected salaries and flexible working options – will this career work well for you?

As part of your research, do the numbers. Again another one that is self-explanatory but, look into the guideline salaries in your desired profession. Crunch the numbers to make sure any change in finances leaves you enough room to account for childcare, bills, travel and fun! Etc.

Talk it through.

Ensure that you talk to someone about your intentions. Whether that is a mentor, family member, partner or friend, get an external opinion and some extra support.

Make some lists!

List pros and cons of the change, what your strengths, weaknesses and ambitions are. These lists will help to focus your options, pinpointing a path most suited to you and your aims. They also provide useful traits to speak about in potential interviews.

What are your transferable skills?

You will have attributes and skills that work across many professions so create a core list that can help you highlight your potential both on your CV and in interviews.

Get to know people and companies that are already in your desired field. This can be an excellent way to ‘dip your toe’ into the industry. You’ll make new connections and it’s a good way to highlight that you’re serious about this change and ready to take on a new challenge.

Brush up your CV and interviewing skills

There will be no doubt that you’ve been through these motions before, but for some of you, it may have been a while since you’ve had one. Use all your preparation, research and lists to compile core questions, responses and statements that will help you win that job.

Overall, if the benefits are there and a change will have no negative impact on yourself or your family then there should be no reason to hesitate! Usually, fate favours the brave so take the leap!

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