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Career changes

In our ‘normal’ world, the literature is saying that most of us will change jobs 5-7 times throughout our career. This differs dramatically compared to 30 years ago, where you rarely took a risk by changing your career. You looked at ways of climbing the ladder, diversifying or becoming an expert within your specific field, and, moving into consultancy, teaching and coaching those skills rather than staying ‘on the tools’.

The access to retrain, remodel and restructure what you are doing is so readily available these days that it is possible to follow a desire to be more ‘successful’ or follow a passion.

What is the literature saying that is driving this journey?

There are many reasons why existing staff underperform and just do what is necessary in their current roles to stay safe. However, the impact of these unmet feelings can lead to chronic stress and illness.

Is it boredom, stress in the position that you are in now, redundancy, job insecurity, feeling unappreciated in the role you are in, or your financial rewards don’t match your self-worth? We know that we are living and working longer today, for males 63, 30 years ago, against today’s expectation of working until we are 67. So, what we do has to be stimulating enough to last this long!

If changing careers is an option, it takes a lot of courage, time, support (emotional and financial) and patience to do so successfully. And then there is the competition, ageism, (despite it being illegal), is alive and well. Your mindset and attitude, self confidence and knowing your skills and knowledge are valuable is essential to be successful.

The literature is saying that it is the ‘soft’ skills, that will see you through to engaging another position, such as leadership, communication, conflict resolution, working within teams, being time efficient etc. Soft skills? I would call these the most challenging skills to master, dealing with human behaviour at every turn. The actual skill and knowledge of the position is the easy part to obtain, if you are willing to learn. Again, correct mindset and attitude will enable this.

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