I Want A New Job Or Career - But I'm Not Sure What To Do...
We should really start out by saying 'congratulations' on having the courage to consider a change in your job or career. Only 1 in 10 people actually make it as far as investigating the possibilities. Most give up before they even do any research, so well done for taking the first tentative steps!
The simple fact is: Many of us leave school or college, and after trying a few different jobs, simply fall into the career that we stay in for many years, often decades. It's really no wonder that we can get stuck in a rut so easily.
The whole purpose of the following section is to help you ask the right questions about making a change. Since you probably haven't sat down with a career advisor since school, let's get the old grey-matter working and start by taking a broad look at the industry....
How many of us actually sat down and planned where we wanted to be now? Not many of us, that's for sure! Take a look through this list and see how many of the following statements apply to you:
I'm stuck in rut. I'm bored of my job but don't really know what else I could do.
I feel undervalued. I know I'm better and worth more than this.
I don't earn enough. I have too much month left over at the end of my money.
I have no feeling of accomplishment or contribution at work. Every day is the same.
I work long hours for a boss and company that hardly recognises me.
I get that sinking feeling every Sunday night, knowing that I'm back to work on Monday.
I just know that next week's going to be exactly the same as this week.
If, like most people, the majority are true for you, then it's probably time to seriously consider an alternative. The first thing you should know is that you're really not alone. It's currently estimated that 35% of all adults in the UK are unhappy with their job and want to do something else.
So, let's keep these 2 rules in mind at all times:
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, and expect a different result.
If you want to change things in your life, then you need to change things in your life!
OK... If we're going to consider jumping ship, then we've got to be sure that the new ship is seaworthy. So, what factors do we need to consider? After many years of working with adult career-changers, we've found that these are the 6 golden questions:
1. Is there a real & genuine need for the new career or job that you're considering?
It's completely pointless getting excited about a career that's not in demand. As a general rule; if there are only limited jobs available and they carry fairly average salaries, then that field is not exactly booming with growth! Don't be duped by a 'glamorous' or fun-sounding job, only to find there's no real work available.
Did you know there are 1.5 Million jobs in the UK IT & Telecoms professional market-place?
2. Is there enough room in the industry for me to get a job?
If the industry is saturated with workers or requires you to be at the top of the ladder to be a reasonable success, then it probably isn't practical. For example: The film industry might need good directors, but how many of us are genuinely going to be the next Stephen Spielberg! It's great to have lofty goals; but make sure that there's a dash of realism in there too.
3. Is that industry need likely to continue through to my retirement?
Even if there is a genuine need for a particular skill at this moment in time; will it last? None of us have a crystal-ball, but we can make an educated guess whether or not that business will still be around in the future. Many jobs have gone the way of the dodo, and many more will follow over the next 10-30 years.
The honest truth is that there are very few future-proof industries. We can't always expect a career change to last our entire life, but we want to make sure that we get at least a decade or two, just so we can justify the time and energy required to make the change.
4. Will it give me long-term job satisfaction?
This is a hard one. There's no real way for most of us to truly know what it's like to do the job we're considering. But, we can look at what others are doing and see if they're getting the rewards that we're looking for. We can also discuss it with people who know the industry well. Most of us are actually quite similar when it comes to achieving job satisfaction:
We'd like to think that we're making a difference.
We want to be well rewarded.
Most of us want to feel that we've put in a good day's work of value.
We'd like to be recognised, both financially and by our peers & bosses.
We'd like to enjoy the work we do. (If we can enjoy it 80% of the time, then on balance, we're doing pretty well!)
5. Can I make enough money for some of the nicer things in life?
Life is expensive. The only people that don't honestly know that are kids. As we grow up and gain responsibilities, we discover that it is far more expensive than we'd ever imagined! The cost of living is universally soaring; just look at food, petrol & house prices etc. For most of us, just being able to afford one decent holiday a year while running a reasonably nice car is about the most we can generally hope for. We all dream of having enough to actually save for those little (and not so little!) extras.
Whatever your motivation and passion; whether it be treating or educating your children, holidays and travel, cars, motorbikes, boats, technology or eating out, you simply can't indulge the 'fun stuff' without the bank balance to support it. And before the niceties kick-in, can we afford to make this months rent/mortgage or car payments comfortably? A career that builds towards a significantly higher than average income is obviously going to benefit us and our families, and make life that extra little bit easier.
6. Is there enough variety in that market for me to find something that suits me?
Does the market we're considering have a variety of roles and options down the line. Are we locked into one defined career path only, or are there multiple routes that we can take, as we grow older and our interests and priorities change. Just look at the decisions you made at 20, 25 & 30 (if you're old enough!) - you'll see that your entire outlook on life has moved and changed as life wore on. Make sure that you leave yourself room to evolve and change; it's inevitable.
So... Which New Career Could Provide These Opportunities?
Our team has been helping people to consider these questions for many years now. And the only market that we've consistently found to tick all the right boxes is the Computing & Information Technology (IT) Industry.
If we take a look at many of the other markets available for re-training, like the Construction Industry, Banking & Financial services, and many others besides, then you'll see that they've all experienced problems to some extent, and have a history of being very up-and-down over the years, with both jobs and growth.
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