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A New Career: Finding the Perfect Fit

Work and careers have been changing over the last few decades, to the point where a “career for life” just isn’t the norm anymore. In fact, it’s now common to change careers at least once in your working lifetime, by swapping roles within a sector, between organisations or even changing sectors entirely.

When work isn’t working

There are many individual reasons and circumstances why people seek to change career, although there are some general trends:

 

So, if work currently isn’t working for you, how can you find the perfect fit for your next step?

Experience-enhanced choices

The great thing about a career swap is that all the experiences you’ve already had (positive or negative) really count in helping you decide what to do next. Positive work experiences can help you to:

 

Similarly, from colleagues, commuting and pay, to work-related tasks and expectations, any negative work experiences you’ve had will help you to:

 

Considering all of this should result in a comprehensive list of what your experience means you can offer and where to start looking, but it’s also important to ask yourself what you actually want, so ask yourself:

Considering change

By the time you’ve pondered all of the above, you should have a definite idea of the circumstances that you do or don’t want as part of your next role, even if you’re still not entirely sure about what specific change you want to make yet.

To help with this, apply the answers to your ‘want’ questions as you consider the types of possible change to make, for example:

A)     If those years-of-service benefits are too good to pass up but your talents are currently being under-used, then a change of role within your current organisation might be the way to create a change and new challenges without having to start over elsewhere?

B)     If you love your actual role (teacher, manager, retail, sales etc) but find yourself frustrated by your employer, then changing organisation and employer may be the right change for you?

C)     If you’ve reached your personal and professional limits in your current role / career, or have too many things on your wish-list which are incompatible with your current role and sector then a whole career change might be what you want?

Opportunity knocks

Once you’ve decided what type of change you’d like to make, you’ll be able to use all your other practical and professional deciding-factors to start planning your next move (in answer to those ABCs above):

A) Within your current organisation: ask for an appraisal, CPD, line-management or HR meeting to discuss your current role or other roles available in the company.

B) Look within industry publications and job listings to find other companies employing people in your role, such as TES for teachers, national newspaper and online job portals.

C) Consider which alternative careers use those skills that you want to keep using or offer you the chance to explore the new skills you want to develop. Identify appropriate training routes or work-based training opportunities and vacancies.

Finally, whichever kind of change you’ve decided to make, use the information you’ve gathered about your skills, strengths and positive performances and add them to the competencies section of your CV, to help prepare for your applications and make your experience count.

Events could be the fresh start you're looking for