23 September, 2010

Changing Your Career

A good friend of mine is currently going through a career crisis. Returning home after an extended overseas holiday and in need of cash, she had to find work fast. Qualified in her field to MA level with good experience, she soon found a new job in a new city. So far so good. Yet fast forward six months and something’s not right – my friend is unsettled, unhappy and unfulfilled. Given all the recent changes in her life, it was not easy for her to pin-point the main problem. Here is a sample of the serious soul searching that ensued:

Is it being in a new city with a limited social network?
Partly, but give it time.

Is it financial?
Yes that was a factor, but a timely promotion has sorted that.

Is it your new workplace?
Partly – and the sun, light and cell phone coverage blocking wall that has been erected a metre from my window is not helping.

Is it the new job?
Could be. There are bits of it I don’t enjoy very much but overall it is what I am qualified to do.

OK, you left NZ because you were in need of a change.  Could it be your CAREER?
Hmmm…I’d like to feel good about my work…I think I’ll go and see a careers counsellor…will keep you posted!

A quick Google search for ‘Changing Career’ returned exactly ten million results. There is no shortage of advice out there. And there are lots of different reasons why people change careers from changes in circumstances to boredom and dissatisfaction. Another growing trend is job seekers are looking for ‘meaningful’ work with ethically and socially responsible employers, and are willing to follow their hearts rather than the money. Recruitment consultant Brad Stewart suggests in a recent Dom Post article:

Workwise, people are finding that if they’re doing work that can make them feel good about themselves, or give back to the community, it’s more rewarding and gives them more purpose than working for an organisation that’s paying a bunch of shareholders or board members they’ve never met. 

Whatever your reasons for considering a career change there are certain things you should consider before jumping ship. A while I ago I wrote  ‘Love the job you’re in’ which should be reflected on too. Following is some advice from the web and remember that if you are a Vic student or graduate, Vic Careers can help with advice, self assessment and CVs. We have a good selection of books too!


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