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Could your career path take a change in direction?

Editorial feature

The days of ‘one job for life’ are mostly behind us. It’s no wonder people are more likely to change career now than in the past.

Going through lockdown led many people to reconsider their lives and careers. Reassessing a work-life balance, getting used to working from home or being made redundant are just some of the factors that may have prompted a rethink. 

A survey of more than 5,000 people found that nearly 9 in ten of us were looking for a new job and career security is a big concern for many. Jobs board Totaljobs, which carried out the research, found that more than a third of UK workers were looking for a fresh start and 52% are keen to relocate within Britain. Around 30% of people are estimated to have picked up new skills or qualifications during the lockdowns of the last 18 months but even if you didn’t, there’s plenty you can do to find a new career.

Adzuna, another job site, found that men are more likely to be looking for a career change, with 10.4% claiming they were actively seeking out new opportunities, compared with 4% for women.

That may be linked to the fact that sectors predominantly staffed by women, such as charity, voluntary, hospitality and catering, have seen a reverse in recruitment since Covid hit.

Changing careers can be life-changing and it is important to be prepared in advance. Make time to research to see if you’ll need to retrain, gain new qualifications or move location. And you’ll no doubt need to make long-term plans if a significant drop in salary is likely.

“Career change takes time, and big journeys are much easier with a team of supporters,” advised Natasha Stanley, Careershifters head coach.

“Surrounding yourself with other career changers, trusted family and friends, experts and mentors can inspire you, help you find solutions to obstacles and stay accountable.”

Some online career quizzes – even the jokey ones – can get you thinking about different directions you might want to consider.

Many skills are transferable between different sectors even if you don’t have much hands-on experience. Managing staff, controlling budgets or training junior colleagues, for example, are all valuable achievements worth highlighting, regardless of whether they were officially in your job description.

Think about all the different skills involved in the roles you have had and how they could apply to other roles. Also, accept that things may have changed since you were last actively seeking work.

If you’ve been settled for some time you may not have an online professional profile. There’s plenty of help online to help you put together something effective.

Even if you are already on all the job and careers sites, make sure you update them with relevant skills and experience and let employers know what you’re looking for.

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Kate Stanton

Checklist’s Life editor, Kate is a multi-skilled freelance writer who has worked at some of the UK’s busiest newsrooms as a feature writer and editor. She is a meticulous journalist and sub-editor who can produce original copy on any range of issues, having contributed to Checklist’s Education and Green & Ethical supplements for national press.

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