Refresh your Career – plan a summer review

It’s nearly the end of June – wow! How did that happen? Before you disappear on your holidays make some time for a quick summer career review. Check in on what you’ve achieved so far this year and celebrate what’s gone well (maybe with a glass of fizz or a slice of cake!). Then think about the next 6 months – what do you need to refresh or tweak to keep your career aims on track?

Don’t feel you have time to stop and think about your career?  How long do you need? 5 – 10 minutes reflection time can be really powerful.

What does a mini-career review involve?

My 5 minute summer career review will give you chance to take a moment for reflection, ask yourself some searching questions and refocus your energy for the rest of the year.

Firstly find some quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.  Think about being somewhere different such as your garden and grab a notebook and a pen, and then we’re ready.

Reconnect to the career goal you set yourself at the beginning of the year (if you didn’t get round to setting any career goals this year read my blog on Why you need a road map for your career and use this opportunity to identify your career goals). Answer the following questions – make a note of your answers:

  • What has gone well in my career in the last 6 months?
  • What could have gone better?
  • Who have I enjoyed working with and why?
  • What have I learnt in that time both personally and professionally?
  • What still needs to happen?

The last question is really important as it gives you chance to focus on the next 6 months. You can identify what you need to do to realise your career goal whether that is changing careers or jobs, getting promotion or working on some new projects.

How to get motivated

  • Don’t get hung up on a SMART goal (they can make it a bit dull) instead phrase your goal in a way that is clear and motivating for you. Focusing towards something usually works best. For example ‘I want to be in a challenging more senior role in a larger company where I can learn x skills by the end of the year’. If you find yourself phrasing it in ‘away from’ style for example, ‘I don’t want to be in the same job next year’ try and turn it into something more motivating such as ‘ I want to be in a vibrant and dynamic new company where I can look forward to going to work’.
  • Keep your goal alive. Find what works for you but consider whether an image, a word, screensaver can represent your goal and keep it active and in your line of sight. So often we set a goal and then it gathers dust in a drawer – you need to be able to tap into it’s motivating energy on a regular basis. Or use to send yourself regular reminder emails to keep you on track.
  • Celebrate what you have done – yes, give yourself a pat on the back and a reward. Don’t focus on on what you haven’t done yet.
  • Develop a motivation mindset. Check in on your self belief – do you feel you can achieve your goal or do you have doubts creeping in? Identify any blocks and think about how you can overcome them. I like to write them down and develop a strategy for each one to stop it circulating in my head! If you need some help overcoming your doubts and your inner critic have a look at my book Developing your Inner Coach.
  • Find an accountability buddy. Staying on track can be the hardest thing if you feel there is no accountability. Sharing this by reporting in and updating on progress can be really useful at making you get on with it. I run a monthly Accountability and Motivation programme for clients and they have found it incredibly helpful. If this is something you feel would make all the difference do get in touch.

Don’t just drift in your career, take control and use today as your motivation to stop, reflect and plan. Be happy always - Refresh your Career - plan a summer review

Join my FREE 10 day Career Change challenge

If you're unhappy in your career or at a crossroads but feel stuck, take part in my CHALLENGE to move closer to a career you can love.

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What’s the Secret Formula for Career Happiness?

It’s not surprising there’s a growing buzz around career happiness – in your lifetime you will work over 90,000 hours! Who wants to spend that amount of time being miserable? It’s not that we haven’t been concerned about being happy at work before, it’s just never been on the mainstream agenda. Now, employers are waking up to the fact that contented employees are linked to productivity and performance. More importantly though, we are seeing the connection for ourselves between our career and our mental health.

There are huge benefits to being happy at work but do you believe it’s within your control? Many people wait passively for happiness to arrive, or not. They let fate decide whether they have a good boss, colleagues that they like or work that they enjoy. The good news is that you can be proactive about creating your own career happiness.

Firstly you need to be intentional. You need to be focused on creating the right conditions to achieve career happiness and be prepared to make changes if you can’t get it in your current job or company. You must be 100% in control of seeking it.

What’s the secret formula for career happiness?

There is a formula to guide you, created through years of work with career changers – understanding why people are unhappy at work and what they seek in order to change that:

CAREER HAPPINESS = (Freedom + challenge + balance – stress) x meaning

Let’s break it down:

  • Freedom:

How much choice do you have, and do you want, in how you do your job? Autonomy over the nature of the work you do or your style of working is so important. And not having the routine of a 9-5 or working in an office setup can also play it’s part. Look for a supportive manager who trusts you and gives you freedom of choice.

  • Challenge:

Too little challenge leads to boredom, and your job can become mundane and dull. Too much challenge leads to stress. But the right amount of challenge, combined with a sense of competence allows you to perform at your best. Imagine how it would feel to have that sense of ‘flow’ everyday! Look for opportunities to step out of your comfort zone.

  • Balance:

There are never enough hours in a day but if you’re spending too many of them working then you can feel out of kilter. Having time to think or reflect boosts your wellbeing. Make time outside work to be with people you love, engage in creative pursuits or do some exercise.

  • Stress:

Some stress helps us to perform well, but pressure, overwhelm and overload delivers negative stress. High stress levels on an ongoing basis leads to anxiety and burnout, and this can wipe out career happiness in one fell swoop.

  • Meaning:

We all want to feel what we do is meaningful. Meaning can be opportunities to learn and grow or seeing a tangible result to what we do. It can be working for an organisation having a positive impact in the world, or working in a role that directly makes a difference. This is a key component of the formula and, without meaning happiness can be hard to find.

What about money?

Money of course is important – we have to live but money in itself does not bring happiness. If you’ve had a job where you’ve chased money over meaning then you’ll know this is tough to sustain for a long period.

We need to move away from a model that suggests money = success = happiness because we never reach the happiness bit – we’re always striving to be more successful before we can focus on happiness. We have to achieve happiness in the present – in the here and now.

How can you increase your career happiness?

  • Do a review – use the formula to be specific about what’s missing and work out how to increase each area or minimise the stress component. Make a plan – remember you are taking control of your happiness at work.
  • Talk to your boss about what you need to change at work, or be prepared to move jobs if there’s no prospect of achieving career happiness in your current role.
  • Build in regular checks to keep an eye on the formula and adjust things if you need to.
  • Develop a positive mindset – the way you see the world influences your happiness levels. Look for ways you can be curious, learn from or help other people.
  • Spread the love – emotions are contagious, particularly negative ones, so surround yourself with positive people and focus on the good things you can share.

This article first appeared in Psychologies magazine.

If you need help boosting your career happiness, and getting more from your work then get in touch for a discovery call, or download my free e-book on Career Happiness.

How To Make 2019 The Best Year Ever For Your Career

2019 is going to be a year of change. We can’t deny that Brexit will have an impact politically, economically and socially. What is unclear is the positive or negative affect of that change. You may feel excited or anxious about how this change may impact you personally. While you can’t exert any control over the outcome of Brexit (unless you’re Theresa May or Donald Tusk), you can control what happens to your career this year. You can decide to make this the best year ever for your career!

Taking control and becoming a career activist will be the best decision you can make for your career. Maybe you’re plateauing in your career at the moment, or you’re keen to move to a more senior role but feeling a bit unsure about how to, or you just want to stop holding yourself back from fulfilling your potential. Follow these tips to achieve the best year ever for your career in 2019:

Get Clear

The cornerstone of career success is being clear about what you want and who you want to be.

Maybe your career has a defined pathway, so for example, you know you want to move Head of Communications to Communications Director. This makes it easy to check in with yourself that this is the right direction of travel for you.If the answer is yes then you can focus on that route. But if the answer is no, it’s important to understand why not. Maybe you’re more of an ops person than a strategist, so you then might be looking for a new role that expands your remit to give you more challenge rather than moving upwards. For example, adding employee engagement to your communications role.

If your career path isn’t so obvious, then you need to spend time identifying what your next role looks like. What elements does it need:

  • stretch
  • freedom
  • intellectual demand
  • people
  • status
  • topic/subject matter

A career vision board can be really useful for this as it can tap into your subconscious, plus it’s great fun to do! Read my blog on How to Create a Career Vision Board  for ideas.

If you’re still struggling identifying your direction then some external help, such as a career coach, can be a good investment.

Get Focused

Now you’re clear about what you’re aiming for, you need to draw up your battle plan! Having a strategy to get to where you want to be is essential for career success. Set yourself some goals to achieve your next steps. These can include:

  • Increase your expertise – are there gaps in your knowledge, skills or experience? Look at the roles you are interested in and do a gap analysis. Once you know what’s missing you can plan how to address them. This could be a mixture of spotting opportunities at work to do something new, e.g. lead a project, mentor a more junior staff member or present to the senior team. And self learning – increasing your knowledge through reading, online training, videos, etc.
  • Get some feedback – your current boss could be really helpful in getting your positioning right. Ask for feedback on what they think you need to be ready for the next role. Then ask for opportunities to build on this.
  • Increase your visibility – do a mini audit on your current profile like within your company or profession? Ask yourself whether you relish self-promotion or shy away from it because you don’t want to seem arrogant or pushy? Becoming more visible is an important part of making this year great. People need to know about your skills and abilities. Stuck for ideas – consider these:
    • writing and publishing articles on LinkedIn or in groups
    • taking part in your professional body’s network
    • making contact with the ‘right’ people in your company/industry
    • attending networking events to build your network (hate networking read this)
    • looking for opportunities to speak or present
    • talking about yourself and your achievements
    • having an opinion/voicing your ideas at work
  • Make a plan – take all your ideas and turn them into a plan for the year so you know how you going to make this the best year ever for your career.

Get Productive

Having a plan is one thing, actually delivering it is another! To be successful this year, you need to use your time well to avoid overwhelm. There are some great techniques out there, e.g. the Pomodoro technique, apps to monitor your screen time. Work out what works for you and make some changes to our routine to get the most out of your day.

Book a regular review with yourself to check in on progress. And find someone to keep you accountable, as this is a key part of staying productive.

Get the Right Attitude

When you’re stretching yourself and heading out of your comfort zone, the old confidence gremlins can kick in. You might find your saying more ‘I can’t’ rather’ than ‘I can’ Attitude and mindset are everything, and the good news is that you are, very much, in control of them. Working on your self belief is hard work but very necessary. If you need some help with this then you may be interested in my Career Confidence course which is packed with tools and techniques.

If you know you’re holding yourself back or have a self limiting belief that is getting in your way, you may find some specific coaching support can make all the difference to putting yourself n the right headspace for change.

Get Resilient

Resilience is that ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties. Just in case your move to your next role is not plain sailing, make sure you reflect and learn from knock backs and difficult situations.

Go For It!

Take charge and make 2019 the best year ever for your career.

I will be launching my Career Success Group Coaching Programme this summer. Places will be limited so if you’re interested in finding out more sign up for the waitlist here.

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How to fall back in love with your job

Remember when you first started your current job – how excited you were? How much love you felt for it. How you loved going to work. Has the novelty worn off? Is the honeymoon over? Has the reality of what you do every day kicked in? If you’re now in the twilight zone of your job relationship and feel a sense of dread on Sunday evening then something’s got to change.

It’s tempting to dust off your CV, give your job the old ‘heave ho’ and make a move to something new and more exciting. But before you do, consider if you can fall back in love with your job. Just like a relationship, you don’t have to go straight to divorce, with a bit of work you can salvage what’s good.

Here’s how to fall back in love with your job:

Take time to reflect

Make space to get a bit of distance from the day to day and have a good think about your job. This could be a holiday, a weekend away or even just take a day off. You need to get some perspective. Ask yourself three questions:

 – What do you enjoy about it?

 – What are the good bits?

 – Can you do it in a different way that will reconnect you with it?

Ask for what you want

Most managers want to keep their staff as it’s expensive and time consuming to recruit. Don’t sit in silence. Talk to your manager about the fact that you’re not enjoying things as much. Ask for some changes to make it work for you (which will ultimately help them too!).

They may not be able to agree to everything but if they can allow you to implement some key things it will help you feel appreciated and valued. Work out what would help – is it working on some different projects, learning a new skill or working from home one day a week? Getting what you want will contribute to how you feel about your job.

Change your view and mindset

It’s easy when you’re not enjoying what you do to get stuck in a negative frame of mind. This means you tend to focus on all the things you don’t like, and lose perspective on the reality. Make a conscious effort to focus on the areas that are good about your job. You will have to retrain your brain, and it will be tempting to fall back into your old views.

Focusing on the good is a much more enjoyable way to spend your time rather than moaning about things. Try to avoid other people who enjoy saying how awful the company or your job is and seek to reinforce your positive mindset. Choose a word to focus on that can help you stay positive.

Use your strengths

Research shows that we are happier and more confident when we can use our core strengths at work on a regular basis. Do a simple audit of how you use your strengths at work and look for ways you can do that more. Want to discover or remind yourself of your core strengths? You can take the free VIA Strengths Survey.

Plan to learn and grow

Take control of your own learning and development by being proactive about what you want. Check in with yourself about skills or qualifications that could either broaden your current role or help you become more specialist in your role. Look at a variety of ways you can access this from either formal or informal learning, and make a plan to avoid drifting. It’s your responsibility to fulfill your potential.

Fix the things that annoy you

What is getting on your nerves? Is it within your control to fix it? If it is then make some changes. It could be minor such as there is never milk in the fridge for tea or coffee. Organise a rota to buy it. It could be more significant such as your supervision sessions with your boss are always cancelled. Put it in writing that you would like to have them on a  regular basis. Whatever it is, try and resolve it, and if it’s out of your control, accept that you can’t fix it and move past it.

Do your utmost to make it work, to try and fall back in love with your job. But if it’s not possible, don’t stay in a job you don’t love – make a change, and if you need help with that please get in touch. Be happy always - How to fall back in love with your job

Join my FREE 10 day Career Change challenge

If you're unhappy in your career or at a crossroads but feel stuck, take part in my CHALLENGE to move closer to a career you can love.

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Am I too old to change career?

When we’re young we want to be older and when we’re old we want to be younger! There never seems to be a perfect age, especially when it comes to your career. There’s a common misconception that by a certain age you should have it sorted and be settled in your career. But what if you’re in a career that doesn’t fulfil or stretch you, or that makes you unhappy? It doesn’t matter what age you are, career change will be on your radar. So if at 30, 40 or 50 you’re worried that you may be too old to change career, think again.

Our age should not define us, and certainly has no bearing on your ability  to actually change career, or anything else in your life for that matter. Try these tips to break free from any age-limiting beliefs:

Who says ‘you’re too old’ to change career?

Is this belief yours or someone else’s? Are you letting yourself be influenced by other people’s prejudices or expectations? If your best friend told you that he or she was going to change their career, what would you say to them? It’s unlikely you’d say ‘what! you’re too old’.

Give yourself permission to follow what you feel is right for you regardless of your age. Some people are able to work out their career path at a young age, but for many it is a process of exploration and experimentation. And if this takes 10 or more years so be it.

How many years?

When do you want to retire? I’m guessing it’s age 65-70? Now minus your current age from your desired retirement age, and you’ll get the rest of your working life. This could be another 20 or 30 years. If your goal is to have a fulfilling and happy career then why, when you have that amount of time left to work, wouldn’t you change careers?

This can also help you to see that the investment and time in any retraining or studying will be short compared to the time in your new job. Don’t ask yourself ‘am I too old to change career at 30 or 40 or 50?’, instead ask yourself ‘How would I feel if I spend another 10 or 20 years doing a job I don’t love?’

Look for role models

Knowing other people, who may be the same age or older, have changed career successfully can be inspiring and reassuring. Find someone in your network who has done this and talk to them about their experience. If you don’t know anyone, check out LinkedIn and look at people’s career stories.

Many of my clients have changed career mid life or in later life. My oldest client was 60 when she changed career. Society is obsessed with youth. Youth is seen as being vigorous and full of potential, and so it can be hard to see career changers who are older and who are still fulfilling their potential.

There are celebrity role models who can help. Vera Wang didn’t start designing clothes until age 40. Harrison Ford was a cabinet maker for 15 years before  becoming an actor, almost by chance. Julia Child wrote her first cookbook at 50. Martha Stewart was a model and stockbroker before branching into gourmet cooking in  her thirties and then developing her lifestyle brand. Spanx founder Sara Blakely sold office supplies door to door before quitting at 30 to run her business full time. Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet was a sports journalist for several years before creating Mumsnet.

Challenge your beliefs

Do some hard thinking about your own beliefs about age, and be prepared to challenge your thinking. We collect beliefs through our life from many different sources, and they can form part of our identity so it may feel particularly challenging to let a belief go. Do some free writing to unearth your belief and then consider the truth of what you have discovered. Ask yourself  ‘What am I saying ‘no’ to by sticking with this belief?’ and ‘What am I saying ‘yes’ to if I change my belief?’

It won’t necessarily be easy to change how you feel about age and career change but working at it will give you the freedom and motivation to find a career that enables you to fulfill your potential at any stage in your life.

I firmly believe that age should not hold us back from finding and doing work that we love. As one of my clients said to me today ‘it’s never too late to start living the life you want to live’.

If you want help to start living the life you want to by having the career you want get in touch for a free clarity call or join my 10 day career change challenge. Be happy always - Am I too old to change career?

Join my FREE 10 day Career Change challenge

If you're unhappy in your career or at a crossroads but feel stuck, take part in my CHALLENGE to move closer to a career you can love.

Photo courtesy of thought [email protected]

5 Ways to Beat Blue Monday

According to experts, the 21st January is Blue Monday – the day of the year we feel the most depressed. It’s been calculated based on how in debt we are, how long since Christmas, how far from our next pay day plus the weather conditions, and it is raining today after all! However, some might say by naming it as the most depressing day of the year we are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we end up actually creating the dread and feeling of being low that the third Monday of January brings.

My mission today is to beat Blue Monday so here are 5 ideas to help you make your day at work a good day rather than a depressing day:

  • Go and talk to someone at work – don’t send an email, get up and go and talk to someone instead. Human interaction makes us feel positive and can spark ideas, show empathy and simply connect. Plus if it’s a colleague you don’t know very well then even better as it gives you a chance to widen your network.
  • Do a Good deed – research shows that doing something positive for someone else can make you feel really good. This could be doing something nice for a colleague, simply making them a cup of tea or, if you want to up the feel-good ante do something for someone you don’t know. Maybe buy a sandwich for someone who is living on the streets, smile at someone on the tube or invite a new neighbour for coffee.
  • Take a lunch break – Today of all days you need to get out at lunchtime and have a walk. Being outside, even if it is raining, and being out in nature significantly increases our wellbeing.
  • Book your summer holiday – or at least start planning for it. Having something to look forward to will definitely help you get through the day.
  • Make a plan – if you feel like it’s Blue Monday at work every day, then take control and make a plan to find a new job or change career. Don’t let it wear you down – do something today!

Make sure you find something to make you feel positive today and help others to feel positive too. Just because today has a blue label doesn’t mean you have to conform!



Retraining For A Career Change. Is It Necessary?

Career change is complex and can throw up lots of questions, both practical and emotional. One of the most common is will I need retraining for a career change?

And of course, the answer is going to be complex too!

What is retraining for a career change?

This can vary hugely. It could be:

  • undertaking a degree or postgraduate qualification
  • taking short courses to update your technical or business skills
  • developing sector knowledge or skills for the role

How will I know what I need to do?

As you research your new career path, you’ll gather information to help you decide whether you need to retrain. It will be very straightforward for some careers, as you will need a qualification in order to practice, for example, becoming a midwife or a teacher. With others, it may feel less clear. For example, if you want to be a nutritionist you need a degree, but to become a nutritional therapist or coach you can do a shorter diploma.

And for other roles, there may be no specific requirement to complete any training before you change career. But you may feel you want to take a course to make you more marketable, boost your CV and demonstrate your commitment to your new career. Plus it can make you feel more confident in applying for jobs.

Where can I find out what retraining I need?

This is where your research comes in handy again. Job descriptions and person specifications will tell you what training and qualifications are essential and what is desirable. Plus, industry bodies and associations will provide guidance on what training and qualifications are needed.

Some employers will be more flexible than others about what is needed for the role. Talk to people in the industry.  You can often find them on LinkedIn, so be brave and contact them to chat about their career and what is needed. This will help you work out a retraining plan to make your career change successful.

How can I fund retraining?

The financial cost of retraining can be off-putting, but you don’t necessarily have to fund it yourself. There are various options to consider:

  • Career development loans
  • Adult learning and Higher Education grants
  • Self-funding – doing some financial planning to see if you can save enough to fund your courses, or whether you need to work part-time while you study.
  • Employer funding – explore whether your existing employer would fund specific courses or whether your potential new employer would be open to funding some training when you join. Always have a business plan to justify the expense and show where the return on investment will come in.
  • Returnships – some employers offer returnships to experienced professionals who have been on a career break which can include retraining as well as support with career change and confidence.
  • Apprenticeships – some careers may offer adult apprenticeships for people over 18. There is no upper age limit, and these can give you access an advanced level apprenticeship or higher apprenticeship.

Do your research and work out what you actually need to train in to have your dream career, and whether you have to do it before you change career. Make a retraining plan, work out how you can fund it and take the first step to your new career.

Need some help working it out or developing a ‘retraining for a career change’ plan? Get in touch to discover how career change coaching can support your first steps. Be happy always - Retraining For A Career Change. Is It Necessary?

Join my FREE 10 day Career Change challenge

If you're unhappy in your career or at a crossroads but feel stuck, take part in my CHALLENGE to move closer to a career you can love.

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Top 4 questions you need to ask before changing careers

It’s a new year – are you feeling that push to make a career change?  Maybe you actually hate your job, or have been feeling stuck for a while. The start of a new year can be a catalyst, and if you’ve been thinking about a career change for a while then now is a good time to take action. The temptation may be to leap into something new, but before you do that ask yourself some important questions. Here are the top 4 questions you need to ask before changing careers.

1. What is driving me to change career?

The first question you need to ask when changing careers is what is driving you to make a career change.  If it’s linked to not being happy  in your job, it’s time to understand what that really means. Drill down into why you’re not happy:

  • is it your actual job? the work you do? the direction your company is heading?
  • is it the culture of the organisation? does it grate with you and your values?
  • is it your boss? are you clashing?
  • is it your colleagues? are they hard to get on with? do you have anything in common?
  • are you bored? do you need more stretch and challenge?
  • is it all of the above?

If it’s only one element that is making you unhappy, then it is worth considering if a change in company or sector is needed rather than a complete change in career. Or whether you could make some changes to your current situation.

Action: Work out what is making you unhappy or unsatisfied before making any big decisions

2. How will I know what will make me happy at work?

You don’t want to leave one career that you’re unhappy in to find yourself in the same position in your new career because you’re not clear about what will give you satisfaction and fulfilment. Do an audit on your current job, but this time look at what you enjoy about it and what has been missing from it. Then make a list of everything you would want in your ideal job. Consider location, salary, hours as well as job satisfaction, culture, people, sector, challenge, etc.

Your wishlist is important as it will allow you to measure any new career options and work out what you might compromise on and what are your deal breakers. Being clear about what you need to make you happy at work means you can make conscious choices about what next.

Action: Create your ideal job list

3. Where do I want to be in 3 years time?

It’s easy to just focus on the most immediate change, especially when your current situation feels untenable and you’re desperate to escape it. But having a vision of where you want your career to take you will give you clarity over whether the  short term move is right. It helps you work out whether staying and making  things work or leaving for a transition role is the best way forward. Being strategic about each step and how it takes you closer to your longer term goal is really powerful, and one of the keys to long term career success.

Action: Create a career vision board

4. Can I afford to change career?

There can be financial implications to changing careers, and this can be very scary, particularly during times of economic uncertainty. Your choice of new career may mean you need to retrain, or take time off to get specific experience. Or you may decide to take a career break while you reposition yourself. Plus the first role you take in your new career can mean, although not always, a pay cut. The financial cost of the change can put you off as it feels too risky.

However, asking yourself what could I do to fund my career change can allow you to identify possibilities. For example, saving money  to give you a 3 month window of opportunity, paring back your living costs to the essentials to realise what the minimum is you need to live on, or considering how you could generate additional income in the short term.

Knowledge is power. Knowing what you need and knowing that you can still support yourself  enables you to manage risk and choose what is right for you.

Action: Take financial control and get to grips with the money side of your change

Now, having answered these questions you’ll be in a good position to make the best changes to your career this year. Be happy always - Top 4 questions you need to ask before changing careers

Join my FREE 10 day Career Change challenge

If you're unhappy in your career or at a crossroads but feel stuck, take part in my CHALLENGE to move closer to a career you can love.

Photo courtesy of Kat [email protected]

How to change career without changing companies

Ok, this is a tricky situation to be in, how do you change career without changing companies? You absolutely love the company you work for – the people are amazing, the culture has a great vibe and it ticks all your boxes in terms of the work it does. The problem is you hate the role you have there and a career change is definitely on the cards. But you don’t want to leave, it’s your dream company.

Maybe you’re a journalist who secretly wants to be a graphic designer,  or a web developer  who wants to be a buyer, whatever your secret passion, all is not lost! Flip things on their head and you can realise you have an advantage in making your career change a reality because you’re already an asset to your dream company. And here’s how to capitalise on that:

Find some champions

Talk to your current boss and/ or HR about what you want to do and ask for help to make it a reality. Companies would rather retain good staff if they can – it’s expensive to recruit, induct and train new people. Make a business case for a move – it’s much easier for management to say yes if there are good business reasons for the change, rather than personal drivers. Your boss will be able to give you a good steer on the possibility and advocate on your behalf to make it happen.

And talk to the person doing the job you want to do and/or their boss. Find out what the skills are you’d need to demonstrate, identify what you need to learn and  where you’d  need to excel. Consider role models in other companies – what do they do exceptionally well? Be inspired.

Work out the Gaps

Assess how much you need to learn or know in order to make the change, and build a plan to fill the gaps including qualifications (check out online courses you can do in your spare time). But don’t forget to recognise all your transferable skills too, and your current experience means you have a lot to offer, especially your company knowledge and relationships.

Be proactive

Volunteer to take on extra projects to get experience in the team you want to move to . This might mean having to work harder or longer in the short term but will be a chance for your new team  to see what you can offer.

Regularly check out the company jobs board and stay open to possibilities – it could be a sideways move into the new team can be the first step to getting the role you want .

Build your Reputation

It may take a while to make your change happen depending on vacancies so in the meantime manage your reputation. Become known for someone who is engaged and enthusiastic, is ‘on it’ and brings a positive impact to teams.

And start networking and identifying the people in the organisation you need to impress. These are the key decision makers who will help you reach your destination. This kind of strategic networking can lead to mentoring opportunities and position you well for the future. Remember jobs can be created for someone that has potential and that the organisation doesn’t want to lose.

Check if you can fast track

Research if your current company offers sabbaticals, as this could be a way to speed up your career change. You could use a 3 or 6 month sabbatical to retrain, upskill, volunteer and get the experience you need for the new career. Then when you return from your break you will be a great position to move teams as soon as an opportunity is there.

Be strategic, remember your current value and steer your career deliberately but with patience as ultimately this will be rewarding to both you and your dream company. It is possible to change your career without changing your company.

This post originally appeared in The Ambition Plan

Photo courtesy of Be happy always - How to change career without changing companies

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