To change gears on your career demands some genuine evaluation before taking the plunge and making the big change. At this time of year, as the best new year’s resolutions have possibly become distant memories, it’s not too late to consider the changes you want to make in your life.
A career change may be at the top of this list for many people, however embarking without clear direction on the new career you intend to pursue can be both confusing and ineffective.
I talk about this in the Jamaica Blue Escape magazine – you can read the full article here.
At this time of year, as the best new year’s resolutions have possibly become lost memories, it’s still not too late to consider the changes you want to make in your life.
And for many people, making a career change is often at the top of that list. But one thing to be clear about is there is a big difference between changing jobs – wanting a new job within your current profession – and changing professions – wanting to leave your profession behind and start again in a completely new field.
Embarking without a clear direction on the new career you intend to pursue can be both confusing and ineffective.
“Being ready to learn, adapt and change are critical skills, now and into the future,” Michelle Gibbings of Change Meridian says. Michelle is also the author of Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work.
“A CSIRO report found more than 40 per cent of jobs are at risk of automation over the next 10 years. The Australia Bureau of Statistics also revealed the average worker will have 10 different jobs before they turn 40.”
This point about change is also taken up by Carli Swa, the Director of Strawberry Seed Consulting.
“There are whole industries that exist today that didn’t five year ago, and many jobs are no longer relevant due to technology,” Carli says.
“Workers need to be able to build adaptable, transferable skills that will allow them to move between careers and industries.”
PAYING ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS
According to Michelle Gibbings, career change is the time for self-reflection and to note your own performance standards. She says it begins with paying attention to five particular signs – a drop in performance, a disconnect in values, cynicism, burn out and a lack of learning.
“Taking a bare minimum approach will impact your performance, the outcomes you deliver and ultimately your reputation,” Michelle says. “If there’s no more room to expand your horizons, it may be time to step outside.”
Once a change in direction has been determined, smart moves are needed to find a new path.
But Carli Saw advises only one step should be attempted at a time.
“First, allow yourself to dream, and make a list of what makes you happy and where you are right now. This gives you criteria to use when assessing your options.”
Next is exploration, so that anything and everything is up for consideration. “Don’t discount anything,” Carli says. “Make a list of the skills and knowledge you have and think about other areas you may be able to apply them.”
The third step is Assessment. “Assess the realities of the options you have explored. Look at if you will need to study, where those jobs are located and what they pay. Find information and determine if it is really viable for you to make this change.”
CREATING A PLAN
Once all that is done, then create a plan that maps out what you need to do, and includes a timeline of when it will be done. “This plan should act as your business plan, guiding you through the key actions you need to take to move into your new career,” Michelle adds. “It should also include clear measurements so that you can monitor your progress.”