New Year, New Career?

February 22, 2021

If your LinkedIn and Facebook are flooded with new year's resolutions and goals, you’re not alone. Whether you’re the type of individual who believes in making resolutions or not, there is something about a new year that feels like a fresh start.

The average worker has 9 jobs in their lifetime, including 1 career change.

If you’re thinking about a change of career to start the year, then you’re not alone. Recent Totaljobs data shows “half of UK workers (50%) expect they’ll make a career change within the next two years, equating to nearly 16.6 million workers”. Job searches and applications typically rocket in January. But whether by choice or circumstance, a career change can be daunting.

According to research conducted by insurance provider LV, individuals will “have nine jobs including one major career change across 48 years of working”. Gone are the days where you spend your career climbing your way up the ladder in a single company. Instead the average worker moves roles every 2-3 years.

There is a huge difference between changing career and changing job. Imagine a rockstar turned dog groomer, or a teacher turned firefighter! There are many reasons for doing this. Due to technological advancement there are new careers created everyday. Or perhaps the career you once enjoyed no longer brings you satisfaction or suits your lifestyle. We spend 33% of our lives at work - that’s a lot of time to spend in a career that makes you unhappy.

43% of UK workers hope to make a career move as soon as possible.

Despite an increase in the average number of careers people have, the current market isn’t perfectly suited for career changers. There is emphasis on experience and skills rather than ability to learn and adapt. This needs changing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still explore your options. Often we stand in our own way when it comes to changing career because of the fear of the unknown.

Here are a few places you can start:

  1. Rather than stick at the crossroads, pick a path you're interested in and try it. If you don’t like it or it’s not for you, go back and pick another one. Repeat until you find the career you’re looking for.
  2. Short Courses - there are 1000’s of free short courses online that give you a taster in different careers without breaking the bank. I recommend the Open University free courses.
  3. Ask to shadow friends, friends of friends, or complete strangers. Even if for a half a day. Which brings me onto the next point.
  4. NETWORK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN - utilise LinkedIn and other social media. LinkedIn is filled with tonnes of people you can reach out to. It may feel uncomfortable the first few times connecting and messaging new people, but quickly you’ll find that most are happy to help. People love talking about themselves so ask questions! The worst thing they can say is no.
  5. Reach out to companies you love the idea of working for, even if they aren’t advertising roles. Contact people whose roles sound interesting to you and ask for advice on how they got into their career.

Switching careers is a marathon not a sprint. Don’t stand in your own way by putting the process off. Carve out an hour a week to spend researching or learning. You deserve to be happy and fulfilled in your career, so embrace the challenge.

If you would like further support on career coaching, visit our CV Writing and Career Coaching page. Get in touch today with one of our experts and discuss how we can support you.

Useful Resources

Qualifications in new funded offers (UK government scheme)

Free Online Short Courses by Open University

Future Learn free online courses

Learn coding for free with Free Code Camp


References

https://www.lv.com/adviser/news/job-for-life

https://www.totaljobs.com/media-centre/changing-course-7-in-10-people-more-likely-to-consider-working-in-a-different-industry-in-light-of-covid-19

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