First steps to change your career
You know you need a new job, but you’re not sure what to do. Should you continue on your current path or try something new? You talk to friends, read career books, and seek general information. You still feel confused and need further knowledge which may clarify your direction.
Career Change: What You Are Up Against!
Australia has a population of 22.4 million people. 11.1 Million of these people are currently working with 55% of the labour market being situated in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. 37% of workers are in regional areas.
With the median age of a working Australian at 37.2 years old the largest 15 year sector of our workforce is aged 30 to 44 years old.
However, did you know that 38 % of the workforce is now over the age of 45 years old?
Yet, workers younger than 25 years old only account for 17% of the workforce?
By the year 2016, people aged 45 and over will account for more than 80% of work force growth in Australia.
With this demographic backdrop demonstrating a creeping crisis approaching, your career reinvention could be the best way forward. Organisations are asking, “Who is going to fill the ‘Workforce Age Gap Crisis’ as older workers seek self-fulfillment or scale back their work commitments or exit the workforce all together?”
According to research from the Department of Education, Science and Training, most Australians will change career seven times in their life. With this in mind, we’ve put together the first steps to help you reinvent your career.
1. Understanding Change? (The Paradigm Shift)
Career change can occur for a number of reasons – from the anticipated (marriage, empty nest) to the unexpected (illness, divorce, lay off) to “nonevents” (a promotion that fell through).
Realising or acknowledging you need a change is the first step. There are many reasons why ‘Real Age’ career people change careers. But whatever they are, ‘Real Age’ career people are constantly evolving and realigning their lives to increase their own personal fulfilment.
Real Age career people take action on gathering information and intellectual property about their career vocational interests, just like you are doing now. We call this ‘VQ’ or Vocational Intelligence.
You need to gain as much ‘VQ’ as possible due to the fact that up to 83% of jobs are never advertised.
In fact, due to a lack of employer branding communication platforms available in Australia, 90% of what you think you know about organisations current career opportunities is wrong. Companies say ‘Where are all the good people?’ whilst people say ‘Where are all the good companies to work for’?
The paradigm shift is to change your perception of what is actually happening in the career marketplace by becoming vocationally intelligent. In other words, open your mind to receiving and reprogramming your knowledge base about the opportunities that actually exist in the current workplace.
The SWOT analysis shown below asks the ‘Real Age’ career person to consider the following factors:If you are looking for a career change to advance your own career then the SWOT analysis is an excellent tool for getting an accurate and informed view of where you the ‘Real Age’ career person is right now. It should be used before making any decisions about future career choice
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses or development needs?
- What are the opportunities for development within your chosen career?
- What threats are you facing?
Use the following guide in thinking about the types of areas you should explore in your personal SWOT analysis. The analysis will help in clarifying career choices, such as whether to move into another role within your current organisation or to exit the organisation.
You can effectively plan and manage career change through career choice analysis and the ways you choose to develop your career.
3. Wheel of life – Get the Balance Right
A week consists of 168 hours. Measure and reflect over the past 3 months and estimate the time you have spent on the following eight aspects of your life.
Spiritual - Worship, community, volunteering
Family – Husband, wife or partner, kids, parents, relatives, etc.
Business – Career progression activity
Finance – Investment and other monetary activities and responsibilities
Mental – Reading, self-learning, formal education
Physical – General exercise, competition or activity participation
Social – Friends, outings, movies, having fun
Rest – Sleep, “Me time”, massage, holidays.
Generally if any one of these parts of your life is taking up a lot of your time over a sustained period, other areas of your life suffer. Your career should be your passion which contributes to your overall happiness and wellbeing.
4. Learn new skills or have your experience formalised with RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)
When you were working fulltime you probably did not have the time to update your skill set. Why not take the time now to learn a new software application, read the latest business books, or learn a foreign language? Acquiring new skills can only make you more valuable to a potential employer.
Whether you are working or not you can formalise your experience by approaching organisations such as Skilling Solutions in Queensland or Skills Stores in Victoria just to name a few, who will advise you on how to formalise your previous experience into a certificate level course or similar. Google ‘recognition of prior learning’
More importantly look for companies who are keen to offer ‘on the job training’ where you can learn new skills or upgrade your educational qualifications. A great start in boosting your confidence. Speak to the appropriate HR personnel of these organisations and ASK:
- What skill set do I need to get in?
Or meet them at networking events like the Reinvent Your Career Expo’s if you’re in Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney.
5. Decide on your career roadmap – Get professional advice!
This step will separate the real career seeker from the pretender. Your career is one of the most important activities in your life that can bring you happiness. Achievement builds self-respect which can become the cornerstone of your smiling face.
To maximise the return on investment in yourself, visit a professional Career Development Practitioner.
Career Development Practitioners will assist mapping out the steps and changes necessary for you to go forward towards your career of choice. They can draw you a road map! They do charge fee’s so shop around, but it will be the best investment you can make in saving you time and frustration moving forward.
Think of it like this! When you need your tax calculated you go visit your accountant, when you have a legal issue to resolve you see a solicitor, when you need career advice you go and visit a Career Development Practitioner.
Career Development Practitioners can be found in almost every city or you can skype, phone or chat online. For more information on one on one career coaching and which career workshops are coming up click here.