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Things Have to Change

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Things Have to Change!

by Lizzie Moyle

Changing career is a phenomenon of modern life.  Most studies show that the average job-seeker will change career (not jobs) several times during the course of his or her lifetime. 

Here, Lizzy Moyle of Moyle Consulting, shares some strategies on why, how and when to have a career change.

THERE are many reasons for a change in career - everyone has their own motivation.  Maybe you have had time away from your career and you have decided that a change is in order.  Perhaps the career you worked in previously is too demanding now that you have a family.  Or you may have developed new interests while away from work.  Maybe the job outlook in your field is less promising than it was due to changes in technology, the economy or the industry you work in.  Perhaps the job you once loved no longer inspires or challenges you.

Whether you are wishing to just tweak your career path or are considering a massive change, it is important to invest some time in researching and planning before you begin.

STEPS TO CAREER CHANGE . . .

Self-Assessment

During a self-assessment you will gather information about yourself which will help you come up with a list of occupations that may be suitable for you.

Interests -

What do you like and dislike doing at work, and in your spare time?  What excites and energises you?  What are you passionate about?

Values -

Consider how important different values are to you.  Examples of these values, which play an important role in one’s job satisfaction, include autonomy, security, a flexible work schedule, helping others, prestige, leisure time and a high salary.

Skills and Attributes -

What are your strengths?  Remember, there are many skills (such as communication, leadership, organisational) and previous experiences that are valuable and transferable to new careers.

Your Realities -

Consider things such as your existing parental, community and financial responsibilities.

Explore and Evaluate Career Options

Once you have discovered (or rediscovered) what you are good at, and what interests and inspires you, spend some time researching the types of careers which centre around these characteristics.

Explore the occupations in which you are interested.  Undertake research into job duties, employment outlook, earnings, education and training requirements. 

You can find some great career information on websites such as: www.jobguide.thegoodguides.com.au, www.jobsearch.gov.au/joboutlook and www.getaccess.com.au published by the WA Department of Education, Science and Training and the Federal Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.  Attend Career Expos and talk to people working in the field in which you are interested to obtain first-hand and inside knowledge. 

Use this information to pare down your choices of possible occupations.  For example, you may not be willing to put the time and energy into an occupation for which an advanced degree is required, or you may consider the likely earnings for a particular occupation inadequate.  Maybe the future employment prospects for a certain occupation are too limited.

Set Goals and Make a Career Action Plan

Define what you wish to achieve with regard to your new career, both from a short and long term perspective. 

Your career goals should be:

  •  achievable (you must have the attributes, energy and time to accomplish them),
  •  believable (you must believe you can reach them) and
  •  flexible (you must be prepared to modify them as necessary).

Consider approaching change methodically rather than radically.  Nowadays, it can be harder to make a radical change as the marketplace expects credentials and experience.

If you are contemplating a new career in a new industry, consider utilising your current skills in the new industry first.  Then, once you have consolidated your new position in the new industry, you can work to change your role in that new industry.

Sometimes, changing both roles and industries at once may be difficult.

Formulate a Career Action Plan which lists the steps you need to take to reach your career goals, together with a time frame in which you wish to achieve them.

The Plan may include:

  • extra skills you need to acquire or further study you may need to undertake.  You may consider temping or volunteering in your new field to get some ‘on the ground’ training.
  • a job search strategy in line with your chosen new career.  This includes researching the companies you are interested in working for and the industries you are interested in working in.
  • a resumé which reflects your new career.
  • research and preparation for interviews in your new field.

Seek Help

You may wish to seek the services of a Career Counsellor to help you through this process.  Career Counsellors will help clients assess their values, interests, abilities and skills and relate these to opportunities for employment, further study and training.

The Australian Association of Career Counsellors and the Australian Psychological Society Australian Psychological Society can provide a list of accredited Career Counsellors in your area.  Centrelink also offers careers advice available through Career Information Centres.  Staffed by specialist career counsellors, these centres are designed to help people make decisions on career change, education and training options, job hunting and so on. (email: cic.per@centrelink.gov.au)

However, whether or not you choose to work with a professional, or work through the process on your own is less important than the amount of thought and energy you put into choosing a new career.

Planning for Success

The journey towards a new career is not always smooth, but it can be an exciting process which leads to successful career advancement and personal growth.  With some serious thinking, constructive research and a solid plan of action, it could be time to take the career change plunge.

You may arrive at your final destination sooner than you think.

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About the author: Lizzie is the Director of Moyle Consulting based in Nedlands WA and can be contacted on 0410 723 620.


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Most studies show that the average job-seeker will
change career (not jobs) several times during the
course of his or her lifetime. Here, Lizzy Moyle of
Moyle Consulting, shares some strategies on why,
how and when to have a career change.Changing career is a phenomenon of modern life. Most studies show that the average job-seeker will change career (not jobs) several times during the course of his or her lifetime. Here, Lizzy Moyle of Moyle Consulting, shares some strategies on why, how and when to have a career change.

Comments (1)

Said this on 2-11-2010 At 11:51 am
As a woman in my 'prime', I am on about career change number 23. I commenced my general nursing training in 1965 and have gone on to have careers in several areas of nursing (general, psychiatric, & operating theatre), studied social work, been a manager of volunteers for a church owned retirement services looking after 6 retirement villages, worked in various roles in several large not for profit organisations, become an event manager/professional conference organiser etc, etc.
Now, for the past 5 years I have found my niche as a personal/family historian, helping people to gather, organise and preserve their stories to leave as a lasting legacy for future family generations.
I encourage you to take the chance and to try doing something you really love - I did, and I am currently attending the Association of Personal Historians annual conference in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada, with colleagues who share my passion.
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