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Where to find guidance on changing career

(15 Posts)
Justwhateverreally Mon 10-Nov-14 20:01:00

Hi all,
I'm mid career, got over a decade of experience in my field. Also have educational qualifications in a couple of other areas, both of which are fairly 'employable' (science/maths).
I've been thinking about changing career on and off for quite a while, but have never known where to start, in terms of exploring what other kinds of employer might be interested in my slightly unusual mix of skills.

Does anyone know if there is some kind of careers guidance service or counselling for people who are mid career and want to find another industry to work in?

I'd be open to doing more training, qualifications etc but I need to know where to start getting ideas from!

EBearhug Mon 10-Nov-14 21:25:44

I had some careers counselling a couple of years ago - my union put me in touch with them (and I got a reduced rate through them.) I haven't actually changed roles, but I am a lot more focussed on which areas of my job I want to develop and do more of, and where my strengths lie.

Justwhateverreally Mon 10-Nov-14 22:10:32

Thanks for replying! I'll ask my union if they have any suggestions.
I'm basically in my job because I lack any idea of what else I could be good at, and on unenjoyable days my mind turns to wondering what else might be out there.

Would love recommendations if there are any general career counselling companies out there -?

I've sometimes wondered whether recruitment companies are any good at working out what kind of hole someone would fit into.
Does anyone have any views on whether it's worth me trying recruiters before I have an idea of what I might want to do?

EBearhug Tue 11-Nov-14 01:51:46

I think recruiters will try and fit you in the job they'll get most commission from, which will usually be one in your current field.

EBearhug Tue 11-Nov-14 02:00:07

There's also the government careers service - can't get it to load just now, but last time I looked, they had quite good online quizzes looking at your aptitudes and preferences and existing qualifications. Threw up some interesting ideas for me.

So might be worth trying as a first step, then if go for careers counselling, you might have more focus.

Also, What Colour Is Your Parachute is now available online, though I think you can still get it in book form too.

Justwhateverreally Tue 11-Nov-14 08:35:22

Thanks for all these tips! Will follow them up.
Have never used a self help book before, is What Colour... good then? Will sidle into a bookshop and have a nosey....

EBearhug Tue 11-Nov-14 22:51:29

There was this link in the paper today -

Fairly simple, but it's a starting point, and only takes 5 minutes. And it tells me I should be in the sort of jobs I've always been in... I just need to change some of the managers.

Justwhateverreally Wed 12-Nov-14 06:42:45

Ooh thanks! Will try it. I suspect my problem is basically the same as yours... One person in partic. Had me in tears yesterday. No amount of money and status is worth this crap.

antimatter Wed 12-Nov-14 06:55:07

I remember having 3 hours session about my career when we were made redundant 7 years ago.

What stuck with me was that the trainer asked me what is it I remember being most happy about during any time at my job.
I was surprised that I remembered to be most happy in a role 3 years earlier. I focussed at what made me happy then was still fresh in my memory.

Can you think of something of that kind in your career and use that experience to understand what is it what motivates you most?

EBearhug Wed 12-Nov-14 08:53:52

I suspect my problem is basically the same as yours... One person in partic.
In that case a similar role in a different department (depending on employer size) or different company might work better than a career change.

Having said that, there's no harm in reviewing your career, as it can help you focus on your particular strengths and what you find rewarding, what is important to you in a job, and even if you stay in the same role, it can help guide discussions with your manager on development and goals. Though you may not want to mention the one about hiring a hitman. wink

If things are causing you so much stress it's reducing you to tears, you should be keeping a diary of all incidents - emails, meetings, phone-calls, with date, time, summary of what was said. Include any positive events, too, for balance. This should give you a clearer picture of how unreasonable things are (this week, I have had reason to review notes I had on previous occurrences, and it's amazing what you can forget over a year.) And if you then decide to go to more senior management and/or HR, you can show a pattern of behaviour. (Send a copy home first, as a backup.) I went to HR earlier this week, and I was surprised at how on my side they were - so don't let your own biases get in the way.

springalong Wed 12-Nov-14 09:08:55

following with interest as some great links posted above.

BranchingOut Wed 12-Nov-14 09:17:41

I just did that quiz and it was quite accurate - worth a try.

Justwhateverreally Wed 12-Nov-14 15:57:50

Ebearhug - bullying rather than stress but yes you are right I should be keeping a diary.
That quiz told me I'm good at what I currently do grin
Am going to do the careers service quizzes tonight and see.

EBearhug Wed 12-Nov-14 21:32:38

Oh, mine is bullying. They are not going to win, though. I have been paying attention to all the stuff we've had at work about how you must network and raise your profile and get involved in things outside your day job, and I'm beginning to realise I've got quite a few allies around.

Justwhateverreally Wed 12-Nov-14 22:42:24

Good for you, stay strong. I'm contemplating leave or stay. This person has had a lot of other run ins so at least I know it's not just me. On the other hand it's a clear sign that management have no intention of dealing with them properly.

Just did the careers service quizzes. They confirmed I am best suited to my current job... Sigh! There is another general area I'd also be suited to, need to do more research on the practicalities though.
thanks for all the advice and help.

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