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Looking For A Career Change - Help Is On Hand

By Jonathan Curran
Posted: 19th November 2013 09:42
Over 80% of us are unhappy in our jobs - according to Deloitte’s Shift Index Survey.  The average American changes job 10 - 15 times between the ages of 18 and 45 years old according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The majority of people no longer wish to sell their souls to their companies.  Companies no longer take employees on for life and past social responsibilities felt by employers are few and far between in today's workplace.
It’s common form for companies to sweat assets and replace them with updated versions when they think they can.  Sir Tim Berner’s Lee changed everything for everyone with access to a computer when he created the World Wide Web.
The Internet Enables    
  • New skills demand - employees either learn new skills or can be replaced
  • Recruitment & replacement is easier thanks to the net’s ability to locate skilled resource
  • Cloud computing and video on the net means employees can be located in more cost effective locations where specific skills are more abundant
  • Social networking sites connect people and ideas to many more new opportunities
  • Unlimited opportunities for entrepreneurs in a globalised marketplace
Today we often look at our parents who held one job for life and a nice pension from 65.  Retirement ages are being forced upwards as we grow older and governments can’t finance people living for longer. 
So in the modern world whilst companies might be blamed for churning and burning employees more readily it can be argued that because of technological advancement they have been forced to do so. 
Whilst changing career has become a necessity for most people, not every company is this cold!  On researching for this article I did find exceptions like US technology firm  Arris,whose CEO says: "Find the right people, keep them, and motivate them, let them know how important they are, and give them clear responsibility.  I think that's the key to success."  I doubt however that anyone working for a company who value investment in its people like Arris so highly has found this article because they didn’t need to go looking for it.
If you are unsure about how best to use the internet including social media then the BBC offers very helpful guidance here.
Personal Signs That A Career Change Is Required
When a person's morale and happiness drop, often their career which consumes such a high proportion of our lives is often to blame.
Five Obvious Signs -(that all is not well and a change might be beneficial)
1.  Lack of enjoyment with your job
2.  No room for professional growth
3.  No individual identity or defined responsibility
4.  Feeling undervalued
5.  Don’t like the culture
So We’re Unhappy At Work So We Can Just Change Career Direction?
Not necessarily!  Life is short and we only have so many heartbeats to enjoy everything life offers us.
There will be many problems outside of work to deal with that are beyond our control but we can change direction at any time. 
There are underlying factors that if we don’t consider and simply just up sticks and change career then we may put ourselves in an even unhappier place;
Things To Consider Prior To A Career Change
1.  Financial Implications
Do you know how much you need to earn to support everything that your current lifestyle requires?
High salaries are normally associated alongside increasingly stressful lifestyles.  Ability and willingness to handle stress are the main reasons why we don’t all earn mega-bucks. 
Low salaries can also lead to unhappiness and stress.  We all know people who can live on under £1,000 per month and others for whom less than £10,000 would be problematic. 
Who is happier, the high earner or low earner?  Food for thought is that lottery winners are known to be initially very happy but quickly return to their original levels of happiness. 
You can use this budget calculatorto determine how much income you need to earn.
2.  Age
If you are 20 years old you have the opportunity to do most things in life.  Most people reading this article will be between 30 and 50 years old considering change and trying to establish if there are opportunities to do so. 
There are hundreds of careers and courses that can take you to your new levels of happiness in the workplace. 
In the modern world companies cannot by law discriminate against age today and you do not put your date of birth on your resume!  Retirement ages are increasing due in large to financial pressures. 
A 2012 survey by Gallup in the US showed that those aged 40 and older are planning to retire at an average age of 68.  In the UK the government removed statutory retirement at 65 altogether.  Thus the signs are that we’ll be working for longer.  Therefore it’s even more important to find your true vocation and even past 40 there is still plenty of time for change.
There are too many careers to list as everyone is different.  When I took this short test of 32 questionsthe results correctly identified my chosen career path and others I have often considered. 
3.  Family Commitments
These usually revolve around career change leading to a relocation.  The ability to relocate might be influenced by some of the following factors which are worth advance consideration:
  • Children are already attending local schools
  • Partner may be in a job they enjoy.  It would be problematic to give up and relocate with you
  • Elderly parents or relations in need of your assistance
  • Moving away from friends and familiarity
  • Disability within the family requiring specialist care
  • Will you be comfortable in a new environment; people, places & size?
More information on relocation considerations is here.
4.  Personality
A survey of 1,000 workers in the UK conducted by the job search website Jobsite showed that for 70 percent of respondents, friends at work is the most crucial elementto a happy working life.  This compares to 55 percent who said money was most important.
There are also those of us who prefer to work alone and those that enjoy being a small part of a large company or organisation.  Your personality will therefore influence where you are most likely to be happy working. 
Take a quick 10 minute personality test.
5.  Finding A New Career - What Factors Are Most Important To You In Your Job?
Everyone would like a 9 - 5 job with health, dental and pension plans included. 
We’d like 6 weeks holiday, flexible hours, fulfilling job and to work with our friends in a progressive organisation that develops our potential. 
Here is a link to 21 questionsthat will give you a ranking in terms of importance you place in the categories discussed in this article (work/ life balance; salary; personal fulfillment; work culture; benefits; career enhancement).
I hope that this has provided you with food for thought and ignited something from within that leads to an improved lifestyle.  Making this move is not as hard as it seems.  Think about this - You’ve done it before and succeeded to get to where you are today.  Get on with it and good luck!
Jonathan Curran is the founder of the PROMOTIVATE Speakers Agency.  He represents and has learnt from an impressive group of the world’s leading professional motivational speakers
Sharing this knowledge he helps companies and individuals unlock how to ‘make it happen’ and the importance of finding the right work/life balance which leads to improved happiness and greater success.
Having spent most of his career working as an executive search consultant for highly respected international headhunters, Jonathan   has interviewed and recruited people throughout this period who sought new challenges.  By listening to others for over 15 years, he has learnt a lot and made his own career change.  Jonathan founded the PROMOTIVATE motivational speakers agency in 2007 and now both represent and help mainly business people find inspiration from the world’s leading motivational speakers.

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