Are you ready for a new career challenge?
Written by Vanessa Vrdoljak on October 27, 2017.
Previous generations entered a profession young and often stayed in it for their whole lives. This is anathema to millenials who are extremely unlikely to experience the life long job security their parents enjoyed. I recently read on Linked in that the new normal is four job changes by the time you are 32. And it’s not just changing jobs within an industry – many switch industry altogether and some do this several times over the course of their career.
The key to being a career chameleon is transferable skills. The experience that you take from one role may not always be obvious but often seemingly tenuous links can bring huge benefits to a new job. A background in teaching may not be an obvious shoo-in to a new career in marketing but experiences of finding ways to capture the imagination of a diverse group of students could be one very useful transferable skill. There are undoubtedly others.
Olympic cycling champion, Victoria Pendleton, won gold and silver medals at London 2012 before swapping her bike saddle for an equestrian one to become a jockey, training for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and finishing fifth in the 2016 Foxhunter Chase. The courage, fitness and stamina, not to mention the competitive mindset, required to reach the top in her cycling career no doubt contributed to her horse racing success.
But changing career direction is not a luxury reserved for professional athletes. Anyone with the right mindset can put their experience and abilities to the test in a different domain. After all, how many of us can say we actively chose our initial careers? Often we are pushed into a particular area by well-meaning parents or career advisers or we drift into a job through luck, contacts or a lack of other options only to find that the field of work is not for us.
How do we know if it is time to make a change? For many the first indicator is a dread of getting out of bed to go to work. If day after day you are going through the motions with no enthusiasm then now might be the time to start planning your exit strategy. Take inspiration from famous career changers such as Victoria Pendleton – it’s not easy but it is possible to find something which inspires and excites you.
Change for the sake of change is no good though. You need to take the time to understand exactly why you don’t like the job that you are in so you can make sure that you find something that will make you jump out of bed enthusiastically day after day. Here are some questions you might want to consider:
• What are you good at?
• Is it the job you don’t like or the culture of your workplace?
• How is your relationship with your boss?
• Are you overworked and stressed?
Once you understand exactly why you are unenthusiastic about your role then you can ensure that you seek something which is better suited to you. It may be that moving to a new company will be enough – don’t underestimate the importance of company culture on job satisfaction. It’s important to find a company that is in harmony with your personal values.
Or it could be that a new boss who is more skilled at managing people or who has a more collaborative approach would make you feel more challenged and respected. Maybe there are different roles within the industry you work in that would suit you better. I’m the perfect example having made a sideways move within Infinity from Financial Adviser to Head of Training and Recruitment.
Being happy at work is key to our emotional and mental wellbeing, and makes us more productive and efficient workers. Life is too short to stay in a role which makes you miserable so if you feel it’s time for a change, seize the day and look for that new challenge!
If you find yourself in a bit of a rut and you would like to look at career opportunities in Asia, there is a great career move waiting for you. Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in finding out more.