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Career coach? Advice on how to retrain(4 Posts)
Looking for some advice on how best to start thinking about a career change or retraining.
I'm knocking on 30 and have worked in financial services for the last 8 years - pretty much since graduating - with the last 4/5 years spent in risk management/compliance roles. I've moved around roles mainly by being in the right place at the right time and kind of fell into what I'm doing now. I am just so bored by it and I get very little job satisfaction - I work for a huge bank so everything is politics, red tape, posturing, no prioritisation, unsupportive management, unmanageable workloads, constant rework and in my view of my own role, not much value add. I've always been a high performer but anxiety and a total lack of confidence has always held me back a bit, so I am always feeling like I should be getting more out of work.
To muddle things a bit, I was diagnosed with depression 2 years ago and it is a constantly struggle to see the good in anything. I often feel like I will never find happiness, so I worry that I am on an endless journey trying to find a job that I enjoy because I will never recognise it if I did.
I have reached a point where I don't know what what I'm good at anymore, or where my skills lie. Is this something that a career coach can help with? Are there any other similar roles or organisations that might be able to help?
A good coach should certainly be able to help you work through the career related questions here. Particularly in terms of gaining a greater understanding of your strengths and interests. A coach shouldn't (and a good one wouldn't) try to counsel you on your depression and this may be an area where you're already receiving some help. But that doesn't mean that career coaching itself wouldn't also be very beneficial - particularly in relation to understanding what success might look like for you.
I don't know where you are geographically but you would be welcome to send me a direct message if you would like me to see if I know anyone in your area. I have just taken a course/qualification in coaching myself and know a few people practising in different parts of the country.
Start thinking and exploring interests. Sometimes you don’t know what is out there until you go and look. I came across my current job by chance on a jobs website. I had done some of it as a hobby for a couple of years (went from healthcare to it). Enjoying it so far!
What attracted you to your first job when you graduated? What attracted you to your degree? I know you're very dissatisfied with work and have had depression, so it might be difficult to answer, but if you look at all the separate tasks which make up your job(s), now and previously, there must be some which you enjoy, or at least don't mind - and equally, what things could you absolutely not tolerate? Every job has an element of boring admin and so on, but so you can't avoid it all, but certain jobs will have more than others.
Think about what makes up a job. Do you want set hours? Would you do shift work, on-call, weekend work?
Do you want to work in an office? Always the same location, or moving to client sites? Work from home? Travelling for work, being away from home?
Do you like working with customers, clients? Face-to-face, on the phone? What about colleagues? A small team, or big department? Presentations? Problem-solving? Planning? Creative? Logical?
Look at things you find easy - that often means it's something we're good at rather than it's something than is easy for everyone. When you're looking at strengths and weaknesses, try to be objective about them - if you're not good at something, is it lack of training/ experience, or something where your strengths really don't lie? It can sometimes be hard to tell, if your sight is obscured by the cloud of depression. You can also ask friends and colleagues what they think your strengths and weaknesses are - it won’t always match what we think about ourselves, and that can be helpful feedback, too.
Think about the practicalities - what's the lowest salary you could do with to maintain your current standard of living? How does that change with a shorter or longer commute and associated costs - not just petrol or train fares, but if you need more childcare. Can you relocate easily? Do you have any physical restrictions, e.g. if you had to stand all day, or do a lot of physical activity?
If you think about all these things - and many more - what interests you, what really doesn't - you'll start building a profile of the sort of job you want, and then you can look at what job types fit it, and then you can see what training is needed.