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This isn’t me, but what is me then?

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3-min read

Find the career right for you in 4 steps

Would you believe if I told you that in the UK 47% of people considered a career change according to a survey involving 1000 people, conducted a couple of years ago by the London School of Business and Finance?  55% of the survey population working in London planned to switch careers in two years.

According to a report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics this year, the median number of years that workers had been with their current employer was 4.2 years in January 2018. This number suggests that workers may switch jobs at least 10 times during their lifetime.

Naturally, not all of these job changes lead to a career change, and although changing careers has its benefits, people tend to wait at least one or two years before making the decision and the necessary steps.

Some consider a career change due to financial necessity, or because they feel burnout, others realise that the professional field they work in no longer gives them the job satisfaction they are looking for. Recognising the lack of appreciation or that something is wrong is the first step and usually, the easiest one to take. That doesn’t mean it is easy, it only says that introducing a change of that magnitude requires more thought and effort.

When job dissatisfaction can be linked to circumstances in the workplace, often the real reason is the misalignment with personality or the passion that drives one forward. Finding the work that makes us happy is the mission if we wish to see our mission in a job. Answer these 8 Questions to know which career fits to you to help make your choice easier.

We all know that a job that enables self-actualisation increases the level of engagement and commitment. Although self-actualisation means something different to each of us. And because it is so different, the way how people choose to switch careers is also different.

Recognising that we are not in the right place at the right time is indeed not a pleasant experience. The doubts, disappointment over the lost time and opportunities can be exhausting, and it takes time to recover and start planning. It feels like getting back to the drawing board.

Now you can imagine, what it is like sitting at your desk or at a table in your favourite cafe in front of a blank sheet of paper.

What can you do? You already know that the job you were or are still doing is not you. It is just not you. What direction should you take?  Such a decision will have an impact on your life for many years to come.

  • Should you be cautious or more adventurous?
  • Should you jump right into the job ads and look for the job that sounds the best or should you research various professional fields?
  • How will you be successful in a job interview in an area you are not familiar with?
  • Do you need time for a transition or should you leave your job right now and search for the new one?
  • Should you make the decision or ask your friends and family? What will your family say? Will they be supportive of you or will they encourage you to stay in the profession you already know?

These are just a couple of questions you may ask of yourself in such a situation. Even though others’ opinion can be distracting, it is worth asking around and gather information. Increasing your knowledge about the labour market in fields you feel close to you is excellent preparation.

It is not the first step I would suggest though.

Based on conversations with people from all walks of life in various industries, I can tell you that the very first step to take is to look into yourself.

#1 Find out what makes you tick

Is it helping other people, or generating ideas? Is it making things work better or analysing information and summarising the conclusions? Is it giving advice to decision makers or making the decisions yourself? Do you like to oversee multiple processes and steps or to focus on a single area and dig deep so you can be an expert of that particular field?

Do you prefer working with people or systems? Are you a team player or an individual contributor who excels at generating results and enjoys reaping the benefits alone? Do you feel charitable with your time and efforts or get excited when you imagine counting the money coming in.

#2 Find out which jobs give you the shivers

Understand the labour market information and make a list of all the roles that tick the boxes. You already know what you are looking for, you just don’t see the matching job title yet. Look for job ads and information about the various professional careers on the internet. Talk to your friends or find new friends and connections in the area of your interest. Engage in conversations which help you better understand the characteristics of the jobs you are interested in doing in the future. Find a community of people thinking about a career change. Talk to a career coach.

#3 Build your path

Once you have a list of at least five roles that tick the boxes, list what education, skills and capabilities are needed. Find out what the entry level requirements are for that professional field and gather all your existing experiences, knowledge and skills. Select the transferable skills and list them. Find out how you can use these transferable skills to balance any educational requirements.

Make a decision on what you have and what you need to develop and plan time for developing the necessary knowledge and skills.

  • Do you need to start a new school?
  • Can you afford it?
  • How long will it take?
  • Do you think you have the strength to pull through years of education or will you go for a course and build yourself up from there?

#4 Walk your path with confidence

By now you know what your passions are, you know more about your personality and what fits in your life and with your style. You planned and made calculations. You had your milestones and predicted the challenges.

Now comes the journey. Believe in yourself and celebrate every little success when you get the chance. Keep your eye on the ball and prepare to be adaptable to the changes that come into your way. But most of all be true to yourself along the way. For keeping yourself on the road check these Ways how self-awareness helps your career progress.

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Ariana Mara

Ariana Mara

Ariana founded unleashr with the aim to help people not only understand but benefit from the changes in their professional environment.

About unleashr

At unleashr we work together every day because we would like to help you solve three key problems you may struggle with in your professional life:

  • making an impact and keeping the good things coming
  • having constant access to an energising and inspiring environment which helps you succeed and values your accomplishments
  • increasing your individual change capability, so you can stand tall or stand back up after a difficult period in your life.

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