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Career Change Qualifications. The 5 Minute Career Coach November 2009
November 01, 2009
Helping Career Changers Around The World
Are you sleepwalking?
Do you find that your days operate on autopilot?
Do you sometimes feel that you are just filling your life with busyness, but you are not really living?
Robert Holden, who runs The Happiness Project, talks about The Daily Unconscious – the strange, hypnotic dance that many of us engage in on a day to day basis. A routine of school runs, commuting to work, checking emails, attending meetings, dealing with clients, running errands...
Does that sound familiar?
Some automation in your life is helpful. For example, you wouldn’t want to have to plan your journey to work each day as if you were doing it for the first time. But it is only too easy to find that the majority of your life is slipping past in that unconscious blur.
Your working life can take up a big chunk of this
Daily Unconscious. How awake, alert and engaged do you feel during your working hours? Is your career beginning to feel like you are stuck in Groundhog Day?
If so, maybe the time is right to stop, wake up and take a long and serious look at the work you do.
Try asking yourself this simple question.
What do I appreciate about my current work?
It may be that there is more that is good about your job than you realise. You had just stopped noticing it in the unconscious blur of the day. If that is the case – great! I encourage you to take a few minutes each morning to just stop and acknowledge what is good about the work you will be doing that day, to be consciously grateful for the opportunities it gives you – opportunities to use your skills and strengths, to meet with interesting people, to make a useful contribution to something that matters.
on the other hand, when you look at it with wide awake eyes, you can find little to value or appreciate in your current job, then maybe this is the wake up call for you? The moment where you decide to stay awake and make a conscious decision to do something about your dissatisfaction, to start a process of review, research and action that will lead you to a more rewarding and fulfilling career.
Or will you just lapse back into the Daily Unconscious?
With very best wishes
What's in this Issue
Quote of the Day
You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step"
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
If you are waking up to the need for change, you may feel scared and uncertain about how to move forward. Sometimes you just have to make a start without knowing where it will all end. If you don’t take that leap of faith, you will never know.
Career Change - Are You Qualified?
So you want to change careers, but you are not doing anything about it because you think you are not qualified for anything else.
This is a common stumbling block for career changers, but one that I would like to challenge. In my experience, on closer examination it can often (though not always) be revealed as an excuse, a barrier constructed to help the would-be career changer avoid the undoubted challenges of taking committed action.
If you are convincing yourself that you lack the qualifications you need to make a career change, take some time to really unpack how true that is for you and your situation.
Do you really need qualifications?
And once you start doing what you want to do, even just some of the time on a part-time or voluntary
basis, you begin to make connections in that sector and can find your way into a job through side doors rather than through the front door.
Value your transferable skills
Many of these skills will be applicable in a wide range of jobs, so your challenge is to be positive about promoting them when you are applying for work in a new area, rather than feeling inadequate because you don’t have an official
If you have not assessed your skills recently, then take a look at the exercises on the How To Change Careers website which will help you identify what you have to offer.
If you do need to get qualified
If doing a degree feels like an impossible challenge, don't just reject it without doing some research. There are many routes into Higher Education for people who have possibly left school with few exams under their belts and mature students generally
do well, because they study with much greater commitment that the average 18 year old.
You don’t have to give up
your job – there are many part-time options available and if finance is what concerns you, then ask about grants and bursaries, look at any government assistance that may be available for you to retrain. There is more help
out there than you think.
Turn your thinking around
The Career Change Question
Challenging questions are a key tool in helping to create change.
Each month I offer you a question to think about. Just let the question wander round your mind for a few days, or even weeks and see what answers unfold for you. The questions are designed to get you thinking in new ways and hopefully gain insights that may open your mind to new possibilities for you career and for your life.
This is a 'Who am I?' kind of question. Answer it by just completing the following statement at least 10 times, preferably more.
Now ask yourself firstly, where this identity, these labels you have given yourself came from and secondly whether these labels help or hinder you.
These labels are part of an identity you have built
up over many years, influenced by a range of different factors, but they are still just labels.
If you can see that one of them is not helping you to run your life or career as you would like to, why not try changing the label?
The Work We Were Born to Do
I love this book. It really is a career changers bible in that it is a source of inspiration that you can dip in to on a regular basis.
It is not so much a practical 'to do' list to get you from where you are now to your new career, it is rather a book to engage you at a deeper level, to encourage you to look for work that will inspire you and give a you a sense of purpose. It focuses on the key underlying issues that you need to get to grips with if you want to find work that will be really rewarding.
What makes his writing all the more credible is that Nick has made the kind of career change you may be dreaming of. He was a computer salesman, but realised it was a job without any heart and so took the plunge, determined to discover the work he was born to do. Now he is doing a
mixture of different things all of which contribute to helping others to find their way to work that will inspire them rather than frustrate and limit them.
In the book, Nick uses a framework of twelve principles to help you to explore:
It is a big read, but one that is well worth the effort if you are looking for something that will inspire you at a deeper level rather than just give you a step by step guide.
And if there are books and resources that have inspired you and that you would like to recommend, there is a place for you to do so on that page.
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