9 Jul 2012
Times have changed, don’t be afraid to follow suit
I firmly believe that change is good. If you don’t like something or you’re not happy then change it, well at least that’s my philosophy. I’m not saying it’s always easy (things can be more complicated) but giving yourself a new challenge, a new perspective and a new environment can do you wonders.
Change is constantly happing around us, from the invention of new technologies to the way the job market functions; today the climate of ‘a job for life’ experienced by previous generations isn’t really the same anymore. Things are much more fluid, we are all aware of the ‘transferable skills’ and ‘diverse skill sets’ which we develop throughout our working lives; these skills allow those of us who are contemplating a career changers to understand what we can bring to a new role.
Taking the time to take stock of your career goals and development is an important process and can help you stay fulfilled and challenged by your work. A career change isn’t the answer for everyone but it may be the next step for some. A point well highlighted by the Careers in Theory blog which says that ‘people change over time; who you are now may bear very little relation to who you might be in the future. Setting goals that are too rigid in this kind of environment can be dangerous’. Not only that but your situation, location and working needs also change and therefore your career may need to accommodate these changes.
There are numerous stories out there about people ending up in a very different place than they started, such as Mark Wong who writes about going from being a dentist to an actor to an accountant! Don’t they always say you never end up where you thought you’d be? That certainly seems to be a theme when you ask people how they got to their current job. Sticking to one particular career path appears to be less popular today.
However, once you have made a leap of faith to do something new, it can be tricky to explain this on your CV. As Clare Whitmell said in her recent article: ‘One of the biggest challenges career changers face is demonstrating how their career history is relevant. The key is to downplay a lack of direct experience, while highlighting the skills and accomplishments which apply’
Career changers are becoming more and more common as people move from one job to the next and I think it could be a positive thing. Both in terms of variety in your career and that people with different backgrounds and skills can bring a new perspective to things.
Are any of you considering a career change? Is it a scary thought or an exciting challenge?