Changing career - putting it into action

‘I wish I’d done this years ago’ is the most common comment made by people who’ve changed career. You can plan your change over a period of months or years; it doesn’t have to be sudden and final.

“Sarah thought she was stuck in an unfulfilling administrative job; afterwards she became a buyer for an international company, without even changing her boss. By being proactive she identified that a key skill she had was speaking Spanish. She then talked to her managers about her own skillset and their plans for company growth, which included opening a branch in Spain. She was able to stay and create her own ideal job mix involving travel, language and business.”

Sarah achieved this by undertaking a simple two-week challenge. Why not try it for yourself?

Week 1

Day 1: Discover how you can be happy at work: where do your passions lie?
Passions, hobbies and interests such as gardening, photography, gin-making, yoga or sign language can all make viable businesses. Becoming self-employed and selling your products and services online has never been easier, with online sales now accounting for 17% of all retailing*. Over the next day, write a list of your passions, hobbies and interests.

Day 2: What skills do others value in you? 
Are you great with people, animals or objects? Are you organised, creative, logical? List the skills others often compliment you on, and those you have developed that others would pay to use. What experiences have been your most memorable? When are you at your happiest? Write this list of skills next to the list of your passions.

“George worked at an outdoor education centre and loved designing obstacle courses that build children’s confidence. He now runs his own company designing playgrounds for schools. Many careers value skills gained through life experience.”

Day 3: Money and a work/life balance
Work out the income you need. Be realistic. Add up the essentials and treats to arrive at a figure. Then look at the hours you’ll need to work to earn this amount based on how much you’re likely to be paid per hour.

Day 4: Where do you want to live, is it time for a change in location? 
If you have ties to your present location such as children settled at school, then your search can be local. Are there local skill shortages? Local colleges often run courses relevant to local skills shortages. Read the local press this week and notice what new companies are setting up or are advertising their services. Do any match your skills and passions? Avoiding a long commute to work can be a huge boost to quality of life.

If you’re not tied to your current location, the world is your oyster. The same job in a new place could be reboot you need. Many change locations rather than vocation. Next to your Day 1 and 2 lists, write your ideal locations.

Day 5: Reflect
Reflect on the lists that you’ve built up over the last four days – have you missed anything? You might want to collate it all together into a simple summary.

Week 2

Day 1-3: Seek feedback
Now it’s time to share your lists and summary with a trusted work colleague, partner or friend. Seek their feedback. You might have missed some of your best qualities. Why not share it with a range of people to get feedback from multiple perspectives?

Day 4-5: Work out your next steps
Together work out your next steps. Will a new project, role or qualification at work nudge you in the right direction? It’s less risky than resigning from a job and gives you control and time to reassess your plan. Can you do a similar job somewhere else? If you want a complete change, what are the next steps you need to take?

If you feel ready to kick-start your work-related transition, get started with Day 1 combined with our quick audio to stay motivated and get more done.

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