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Change Your Career

 

Changing your Job - Why do it?

  • You feel you've gained enough experience in your place of employment and want to broaden your skillset with another employer.
  • The job doesn't suit you in terms of your interests, goals or values.
  • You are dissatisfied with hygiene factors, such as pay, job security or prospects for promotion.

NB: Changing job is normal, especially in the early years of work (three changes before thirty, they say). But not changing for changes sake - you need sound reasons - like wanting to broaden your experience, earn better money or gain promotion - not to escape from what has turned out to be less to your liking after a short time particularly.

Before you go you should assess the experience you've gained from the job and establish how far it goes to matching the knowledge and expertise in the next job you want.

If there is a gap, what can you do here-and-now to address it?

Have you discussed your development needs with your employer? Consider that staying a little longer and seeking the necessary knowledge / skill by way of in-house training / additional experience might help.

Research the 'wider' employment market and what is happening out there.

Understand the changes that have occurred in the modern working environment eg. outsourcing, globalisation, movement from hierarchical to flatter structures. Recognise realities like the existence of fewer traditional graduate jobs, the rise in importance of employment in SMEs and generally the ongoing need to be open to change.

are all options you might care to look at, at this stage.

Develop your own career action plan by reviewing your own skills, knowledge, constraints and values. Consider also the entry requirements and skills required in the new career area sought.

If you have satisfied yourself that the right match exists between you and the career area, you can start to develop an action plan detailing the actions you need to take in order to enter that career. This will inlcude updating your CV and improving your networking and interviewing skills.

More information at careers4graduates.org.

 

Career Change? - Thinking about changing career direction altogether.

  • Have you researched and tested out the idea, gained relevant work or voluntary experience, met people in the area? Have you already gained skills and work experience that can help you transfer?
  • Is there support - financial and personal - available to you if the change entails a return to study or a significant drop in earnings?
  • How easily can you integrate into an organisation as a new trainee staff member?
  • Perhaps you are not sure what career you would like to pursue. Some of the tools available at the Plan your Career section may be interest to you.
  • More information is available at icould.com and there is a selection of videos with personal accounts of career change here also.
  • There are also a variety of publications which could be useful to you in making this decision, such as R. Bolles 'What Colour is your Parachute?'

 

Consider your Career Needs

Ask yourself: what is missing in your current career?

This could include a need for more responsibility or autonomy, scope to use your specialist skills, travel, work-life balance, work conditions etc. These are all factors you need to consider, including the extent to which they are presenting as 'push' or 'pull' factors in your decision-making.

Importantly, you need to review your skills portfolio. A typical checklist for you to review yourself includes:

  • Making presentations
  • Handling budgets
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Technical eg. IT skills

Improve / gain what you require through in-house training, short courses or distance learning.

Research the skills you need for career change from job advertisements, professional bodies and company literature.

More details in Resources including careers4graduates.org.

Engineering Careers Event - 20/10/14Career NetworkGoing Global and Careers InsiderCareers Advisory Service on Facebook & Twitter

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