This guest blog was written by Mark Anderson, a Career Coach at Kickstart Careers Coaching. He is passionate about helping individuals to find work that not only pays the bills, but work that brings out the best in them.
With so many people having to change their working patterns, furlough or even deal with redundancy, the possibility of a career change is on many minds. Perhaps your industry is particularly struggling to survive at this time. Major changes can prompt us to think whether now is the right time to move on. For many, redundancy is the push they needed to focus on what they really want to do.
According to a survey by Investors in People, the number of people unhappy at work has risen by 10%, and that was before the March 2020 lockdown. The holy grail of job satisfaction can seem unattainable for many, but with a bit of guidance, patience and bravery it can be achieved.
A drastic change may not be necessary, as sometimes a small change can make a world of difference. Whether your ideal transition is big or small, if you are unhappy it’s worth doing some investigating to identify what might be a better fit. However, it needs to be done properly.
So how do you effectively investigate alternative options?
Finding your passion requires a proactive approach and begins with your answer to this simple question……”Who am I?”
It may sound a bit deep and self indulgent I know, but until you can answer this question there’s a strong likelihood that you will end up going around in circles with no direction or purpose.
The answer to this question begins with an understanding of your values, i.e. what is really important to you about work. For some people it’s security, for others it may be creativity, autonomy or purpose. Once you can identify what you want your work to give you a sense of, then you can measure future opportunities up against these values.
In addition to identifying your values, you need to be clear about your strongest skills and more importantly, the ones you actually enjoy using. These are not just gleaned from your previous jobs. Sometimes the skills you enjoy using are used more in your social life and these should not be ignored.
You also need to consider your personality style, interests and passions before you can start to work out the job sectors that might be suitable for you to move into.
Identifying your ideal job is like putting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together without the luxury of knowing what your final image will look like. As you put the pieces of your skills, personality, interests, values and experiences together, a picture will start to emerge.
In addition to self awareness you also need to have an understanding of the growing employment trends. You need to grasp what’s actually needed in the world and then match those needs with the skills and qualities you have. After all, you don’t want to move into a role which is going to be taken over by robots in the near future, no matter how well suited you may be for the part.
This is where research and networking come in.
Once you identify potential job sectors or roles, it’s vital that you take the time to speak to people who are working in these areas. Social media is a good place to start, especially LinkedIn. If you find the opportunity for a one to one, here are some questions you can ask:
● How did you get into the role?
● What are the necessary skills and qualities for the role?
● What are the job prospects in your industry?
● What are the major challenges facing your industry/company right now?
● What background experience is required for the role?
● Where do you see the industry/company in 5/10 years time?
● What are the skills required for the future?
● What advice would you give to someone like me who wanted to get a similar job?
Once you’ve ideally spoken to two or three people in the industry, you should have a clearer idea about your next steps. The conversation may have even put you off, but surely that’s a good thing?
The process of identifying your ideal career path can be time consuming but you can take a short cut by taking an online psychometric test. The report will give you a summary of your strengths, interests and also suggest possible job roles and relevant courses.
It all sounds straightforward in black and white on a screen, but it’s not easy to gain clarity on your ideal career path. If it was, you would have done it already and you’d be well on your way to identifying work that gives you fulfilment and satisfaction. That’s why it’s good to get professional help from a Career Coach who can help you to navigate the crazy paving of your career. A good
Career Coach will also be able to help you to identify and challenge the barriers that are preventing you from moving forward and taking action. Trust me, you do have them and if they are not challenged it will be virtually impossible to move forward at the speed you wish.
That said, a Career Coach cannot work miracles and the results are always down to you. Your Coach is there to motivate, ask the right questions and hold your hand along the journey. It could be the missing piece of your puzzle.
Mark Anderson is a Career Coach at Kickstart Careers Coaching. He is passionate about helping individuals to find work that not only pays the bills, but work that brings out the best in them.