Looking for a new career direction?

(23 Posts)
LocalEditorBromley Sun 12-Apr-15 23:08:44

Are you a full-timer looking for a new career path? Or maybe you’re a stay at home mum who’s ready to re-enter the world of work?

There are so many aspects to consider, that sometimes finding the focus and information you need is as daunting as finding the work itself! To help out, we’ve enlisted the skills of Alistair Stirling of Stirling Careers Consultancy.

Alistair is a qualified and registered careers adviser who provides impartial advice and creates a tailor-made action plan to suit individuals' needs. We’re happy to have him joining this thread to provide useful tips and advice.

Stirling Careers' services include the exploration of career ideas; assessing your transferable skills; preparation of a job search plan; CV development and interview practice. One of Alistair's recent clients told us “(he) was really good at helping me to clarify my action plan and to take small steps towards employment."

So, there you have it. If you’ve questions or comments about your next career move, fire away!

More about Stirling Careers Consultancy

Stirling Careers provides career advice local and personalised to you. To enquire about a private career consultation, call 0790 461 4946 or e-mail info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk.

stirlingcareersconsultancy Mon 13-Apr-15 21:32:30

Thanks Melanie. I am writing to introduce myself. My name is Alistair Stirling of Stirling Careers Consultancy. I am based in Bromley and have lived and worked in the area for nearly 20 years and married a local girl.

After a varied career encompassing, leisure and tourism, regeneration and education, I retrained as a Careers Adviser. In 2012 I set up my business delivering personalised one to one careers advice.

Since then my work has included delivering careers advice in schools and careers advice to adults who are looking to return to the labour market.

Have you considered your options?

Stepatatime Mon 20-Apr-15 15:35:00

Hi and thanks for the opportunity. I'm a stay at home mother who has been out of the workforce officially since 2012. Unofficially it's rather longer than that, as I had to take some sick leave during my various pregnancies. A marketer by trade, I am now dipping my toe back in the water with little bits of freelance here and there. Although I'm getting work, I'm not sure I'm organising it very well. I juggle around my family and domestic duties, and the rates I charge are fairly low, as well as inconsistent (some mates rates, some commission based projects etc). At first I was comfortable with it as it was keeping my hand in but now I think I am charging too low and wondering how I am going to resolve matters. I'm starting to wonder if I wouldn't be better off returning to the employed workforce as it would possibly be a 'cleaner' approach. Any thoughts?

stirlingcareersconsultancy Mon 20-Apr-15 18:35:30

I can definitely understand where you are coming from as I myself have started my own business as a Careers Adviser in 2012 and it has had its peaks and troughs. I also do charge different rates depending on whether I am working for schools, for individuals or for companies so I think that charging different rates is a good thing. You would need to research each of the different markets to see what other people are charging and what would be a realistic going rate.
However, I suppose you really need to make your friends realise that this is a business and not just a way to earn some pin money. Have you ever thought about doing some part-time work for a company together with some freelance work? That would mean that you would be getting a steady income together with some interesting and varied other work which you could pick and choose.
If you would like to discuss things in more detail, I would be very happy to meet with you for a detailed careers interview. My phone number is 0790 461 4946. My e-mail address is info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk

LocalEditorBromley Wed 22-Apr-15 21:19:18

Alistair, thanks for the advice for Stepatatime. I can relate to that situation as a freelancer myself - I think there is definitely a temptation to undersell yourself at first until you get the confidence to ask for what you are worth!
I was interested in what you said above about part-time work in combination with freelance work. I can see that there could see some real advantages to that. However, I'm interested in your thoughts - and those of our community - as to whether part-time is actually ever part-time in truth!

stirlingcareersconsultancy Thu 23-Apr-15 15:34:00

Thanks Melanie. Regarding whether part-time is ever really part-time, it is important to be really disciplined with yourself and decide when it is time to finish for the day. I would definitely avoid anything like 2.5 days a week as it can so easily run into 3 days without your realising it. It is also about being very clear about what is expected of you and agreeing it before you actually start work. (i.e. reading your job description and contract)

stirlingcareersconsultancy Sun 17-May-15 17:40:06

Workfest - May 2015
Did any of you go to Workfest at the weekend?
Did you have a chance to talk to any Careers Advisers?
Would you like some more help?
If so, please contact Alistair Stirling from Stirling Careers Consultancy on info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk

VanillaLatte13 Tue 16-Jun-15 19:29:41

I am looking for a career change and achieve a better work-life balance. Never had the time to take my 2 DC to sports and art after school activities Currently in property management with a game changer company, but with not enough time to spend with DC and constantly exhausted.Ideally I would be working in a private or grammar school as a German teacher and enjoy the half terms. As you may guess I cannot really afford to stop working, but happy to do less hours for same hourly rate. Not tolerated by the company I work for where competition is everything and the many directors are if the age of 30 (high achievers).
I find many part time jobs but the pay rate is rather unfair and patronising. Does it mean that if we are not freelancers and mothers who do not want to stay behind after working hours we need to get peanuts?! Could you give me advice please? I will be definitely looking for a less stressful job in October this year ... any suggestions?

stirlingcareersconsultancy Fri 19-Jun-15 17:53:21

Dear Career Changer
Thank you for your post. You certainly do not have to work for peanuts. Have you thought about your transferable skills and what jobs they might be suitable for? Initially have you got a CV and covering letter that reflects what you are now considering doing? Also have you contacted any local schools to see if they are interested in your talents? Another idea would be to do some private tutoring for a private tutoring organisation or supply teaching through a teaching agency. When you have done some private tutoring get the parents and child to write some testimonials which are always useful both when going for interviews and if considering becoming a freelancer. It might be worth researching what the market rate is for private tutors or supply teachers.

stirlingcareersconsultancy Wed 19-Aug-15 15:03:35

Do you have teenage children or responsibility for teenage children? Are they receiving their GCSE results tomorrow? Do you think that they might need help when choosing their future career? Then why not visit the blog on my website giving top tips for students receiving their GCSE results.
Please follow the link:

VanillaLatte13 Mon 02-Nov-15 13:39:28

Dear Alistair,
The problem with my situation is that I have transferable skills, however they are not considered in a new field if you do not have any experience. Inexperienced means much less pay. I made some research regarding teaching and am not convinced that teaching is less stressful and time consuming in comparison with what I am doing now. Private tutoring requires teaching experience and recommendations as well. Also not greatly paid when you start fresh.

What job/business would be good for a mother of two children in school age? Must be something between 9.30 and 2.30 and quite locally I guess.

My experience is in Office management/Facilities and I hold QTS in German language.

Thank you.

stirlingcareersconsultancy Wed 04-Nov-15 19:27:38

Dear Career Changer

Changing careers can mean having to lower one's expectations whilst building up skills, knowledge and experience in a new field. Having gained the experience and skills you can then expect to earn more. Another option is that you can be a virtual assistant working from home. There are particular recruitment agencies that focus on women with children of school age. Have you looked at "Ten2Two" or "Women Like Us" websites? Please follow the link if you want to discuss things further.

VanillaLatte13 Mon 09-Nov-15 12:32:57

Thank you, I did not know about them. I will contact you by email.

stirlingcareersconsultancy Fri 26-Feb-16 17:38:56

For parents with sons and daughters in years 8 and 9 who are having to make subject choices for GCSEs, I have written a short blog to help you support your child through this stage. Please follow the link blog.stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk/blog.aspx

stirlingcareersconsultancy Mon 11-Apr-16 18:44:18

Are you going to Workfest 2016? If so, I look forward to seeing you there. I will be working there in the morning in the Career Clinic. I hope to see you there.
Please follow the link to find out more.

LocalEditorBromley Tue 12-Apr-16 13:12:41

Thanks for the update Alastair!

EDsnowboarder Sat 16-Apr-16 07:06:29

I would love to go to workfest but it's £85!! I can't afford it!!

LocalEditorBromley Mon 18-Apr-16 21:09:47

That's a shame EDsnowboarder. We went back to HQ to check but it appears that there are no further discount tickets available at this stage. We will update here if any new offers become available nearer the time, though.

ChalkyC Tue 19-Apr-16 06:08:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smile66 Sat 14-May-16 18:18:40

Dear Career changer,

I am changing career from one of 30 years of nursing to a property finding agency, Clear Vision Homes Ltd.
I have renovated properties since I was 24 and know my local areas and markets so well now and have found turning my passion into work feels so nice and very freeing.

My problem is how best to structure my days and week to be the most efficient. Paper work in the morning ,or out and about in the morning, best times for meetings with others, marketing time, researching time etc. Do you think its best to have one day allocated specifically per subject or what is best please?

Any advice gratefully received, my most important element for my business is giving my clients the best possible service that I can to get them their dream property.

stirlingcareersconsultancy Wed 25-May-16 09:52:20

I attended Mumsnet Workfest 2016, a conference aimed at women returning to the labour market, and gave careers advice to a number of delegates who are looking to return to employment.

I found it very worthwhile and interesting event with lots of engaging speakers and thought-provoking workshops. They appreciated being able to talk to an impartial and independent careers professional.
If you did not attend do think about going next year as it is well worth it. A typical question included how to apply for jobs in the contemporary job market. We worked together to produce an action plan with goals and dates targeting specific sectors. If you cannot wait until next year either call us on 0790 461 4946 email us at info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk or contact us via our contact form on this website:
We look forward to your call.

Mar3u5 Wed 25-May-16 22:26:35

Hi VL,
I'm interested in your skill set and work in an academy in Southwark. We are looking for someone who could lead events, do admin for cross school project, and PA work.
Let me know if interested.

VanillaLatte13 Thu 26-May-16 09:08:37

Mar3u5, I've PMed you.

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