New Year New Career

By Annelise Ball

It’s that time of year again.  Christmas is over and the party is well and truly finished.  Another long year at work stretches ahead   So many of us are returning to work and asking ourselves a familiar question: ‘how did I get back here again?’ That awful sinking feeling settles in.

Tell me, does anyone feel that way at the moment?

If so, let’s plan ahead and get our 2014 New Year’s Resolutions ready.  I propose we should never again experience another ‘Awful- Sinking-Feeling- January’!  Let’s commit to making this year one in which you take control and change your career.  There’s a whole year ahead with which to make some progress. New year, new career – let’s get cracking!

But where to begin?  It can all seem so daunting.  I know this very well myself; I’m currently changing careers from social work to communications. I suspect you might be thinking that it’s just too difficult.  I’ve found that it doesn’t have to be!  Even taking small, simple steps can produce some game-changing results.  Try these for yourself and see!

If you know what you’d like to do

Raid your networks

Who do you know already working in your field of interest?  Ask them for advice.  How did they get into their field?  What are the pros and cons?  What education and training do you need?  I’ve found that people are generally happy to share their knowledge and experiences.  They’re often flattered you’re asking them!

Spread the word

Start telling people you’re changing careers.   The more you talk about it, the more you’re ‘putting it out there’.  You’re letting people know you’re open to new possibilities.  You never know who’s listening!

Put your money where your mouth is

Once you start talking about your plans, your family and friends will show interest in your progress.   They’ll want updates.  They’ll ask questions.  Make sure you have something to tell them!

Get some experience

No matter what your age, there’s no shame in being the ‘work experience kid’.  Volunteering your time in your field of interest provides you with invaluable experience and those all-important contacts and referees.   You’ll find your time and effort paying off nicely in the end.

If you have no idea!

Follow your  joy

Think about what makes you feel joyful.  Is it fixing things? Knowing how things work?  Making stuff?  Being with people?  These are vital clues that could well lead you to the right career path.  Pay careful attention to them.

A+ ideas

What was your best subject at school?  What do you do well, easily and with little effort?  These are further clues for you to consider.  For example, I was good at English and can still write pretty well with little sweat.  What’s your thing?

Get in the zone

Deliberately create a new state of mind.  Tell yourself that, as of now, you’re officially in career-change mode.  If someone asks you what you do for a living, stop saying ‘I’m a teacher, but I hate it’.  Start saying ‘I’m a teacher, but I’m working on a new career path.’  You’ll be amazed at how much better this makes you feel.

Taking a few small steps can change things in ways you never thought possible.  Just give it a go.  No more Awful-Sinking-Feeling-January’s for you!