It’s a startling statistic that more than half of us are not happy in our work, whether that be the money we earn or the meaning we attach to the work we do.
With that in mind it’s hardly surprising then that one of the most common New Year resolutions is to get a new job. While some of you may feel you are stagnating in your current role, are looking for more responsibility or a pay increase, others of you will be considering something all together more radical – a total change in career direction.
Here are some words of wisdom and top tips from a panel of career changers we recently hosted at LSE Careers into how they did it! They are in no particular order but hopefully some of them will resonate with you.
- Think about what qualities you want to have! Stay in touch with you. Ask yourself: what do you enjoy/get excited about?
- What do you love? Start something – engage with your passion! You never know where it might grow or take you.
- Think about the environment you want to be in and how you might be able to use your skills in another sector.
- Be creative. Look for something that brings together the different aspects of you.
- Keep space for your dreams. Be clear about dreams but know you will make choices and compromises on the way.
- Whatever you’ve done previously and however successful you’ve been, don’t be too proud to look for stepping stones for example doing pro-bono work.
- When thinking about changing career, use the football (or other team sport) analogy. Basically think about what you have in front of you and how best to position yourself to score a goal.
- Keep your contacts active and think how you can grow your network. Chat to people and show you are keen to learn.
- Remember happiness links to goal fulfilment. Think why you want to change – is it a person, the team, or the purpose?
- Be positive and think about all the things you do like in your current job and look for ways to find more of this. It’s important you stay positive and don’t dwell on the negatives even when you are looking for a way out.
- Get some outside support whether that be from a careers adviser, coach or mentor. Take advice from others and listen!
- Network with your immediate and also your wider group whether that be LSE alumni or other professionals through things like meet-up groups.
- Look for connections and ask for introductions. The worst someone can say is no!
- Keep in contact with people. Make notes and follow up.
- Offer to help – in whatever way that may be. Be useful. Tell them what you can do to make their life better!
- Know that you may have to take a step back to move forward.
- Develop a compelling narrative – tell your story and practise it.
- Be ready for when ‘luck’ presents itself.
- Always think about who you’re sitting next to as a potential source of inspiration and advice.
- Have faith in yourself and others will have too!
If getting some advice on your skills, values and interests and talking to other people talk about how they changed career is something you think you would benefit from, we’re running a career changer course in Lent Term – look out for details on CareerHub.