Rethinking and building your career

Business person with building blocks


It is becoming more common to have a complete change of career; people leaving education now will have 17 jobs over 5 careers in a lifetime (Australian Government: Labour Market Research and Analysis).

There are different motivations for career change; sometimes change is inevitable due to company redundancies, or perhaps the industry is employing fewer people with a specific skill-set, while other people find themselves in jobs that do not satisfy their current needs.

Whatever your reason for the change you are about to enter a new stage of your life. Yes, it might be daunting but it is also exciting; a new you, a new environment, new challenges, new colleagues and clients. 

Deciding on your next career step

By listing five steps to building your career I am not suggesting that career decision making is a quick, linear process. In fact a time of uncertainty  is actually positive and can provide the momentum for your growth. So when you go through the decision making process be open to all sorts of future possibilities.

1.    Reflect on your current and past roles

This is the time to be reflective; think through your current and previous roles and considered which aspects you enjoyed and which you didn't. Also think about the life you hope(d) for - what does this vision look or feel like?

  • Do you, or did you, feel fulfilled in your work?
  • Do you feel that you can truly be yourself in your work? 
  • Have you been using your strengths?
  • When do/did you feel energised or excited?
  • What skills do you enjoy using?

By answering these questions you are gaining clues to what you could/should be doing in your future work-life or study-life.

2.    Consider your responsibilities and financial needs

Your responsibilities and financial needs will impact; (a) whether you can take a vacation from work in order to make a decision, (b) whether you can do voluntary work and (c) how much money/time you can spend training/studying.

To achieve this you may need to complete a budget, have discussions with your family members and consider your realistic and ideal financial goals.

3.    Consider and research the possibilities

Try not to limit yourself at the early stages of the decision making process, there are many options that may be worth exploring. It is beneficial to speak to people who work in the roles or industries that interest you. You can also attend conferences and events where you are likely to meet the right people.

4. Analyse your own potential attractiveness to employers/clients

Consider whether you are currently attractive to employers/clients or whether you need more education, skills or experience in order to get into the ideal position. The easiest way to do this is to look at job advertisement for similar roles and check out the entry requirements. The advertisement will show you the expectations of the employer, however you won't know whether successful candidates have skills that far exceed these expectations. For that reason it is ideal to speak to people in the industry and get some inside knowledge about who is employed and what makes someone stand out from the crowd.

5. Get into action

Once you have decided on your next step it is time to start making plans, writing applications, filling any skills gaps and improving your marketing material (whether that's a business plan, a résumé, and/or a LinkedIn profile). Some people feel that can make progress once they have drawn up an action plan. You should feel inspired to do this; if you don't feel inspired then there is something holding you back. Consider whether you really believe that something positive and meaningful will occur when you take the next step.

I hope you enjoy the new opportunities that are about to present themselves to you.

Still confused?

Career decision making is a complex, personal and sometimes emotional process. It can take a lot of time and reflection to ensure that you are making decisions which feel right. If you are still feeling lost or confused about your options, and decisions, I would be happy to discuss ideas and help you put some building blocks in place. Send me an email or give me a call...