With new graduates now expected to work for over 45 years before drawing a pension, it’s inevitable that many changes will occur over the course of your career lifetime. Along with the increasing popularity of portfolio careers and other factors such as moving city or starting a family, a change in where, how and who you work for is an ongoing process. So whether you’re considering an industry change, going part-time or the prospect of self-employment is calling, we’ve got you covered with a
With new graduates now expected to work for over 45 years before drawing a pension, it’s inevitable that many changes will occur over the course of your career lifetime. Along with the increasing popularity of portfolio careers and other factors such as moving city or starting a family, a change in where, how and who you work for is an ongoing process. So whether you’re considering an industry change, going part-time or the prospect of self-employment is calling, we’ve got you covered with a host of tips to fully prepare you for the leap.
1. RESEARCH with a time limit
Google has a lot of answers and a lot to answer for. Access to websites, forums and social media are of course the logical first step in considering a change in how you work. However, because there’s always a new blog post, news article or LinkedIn update, your initially fruitful research can quickly lead you down a black hole until you become more confused than when you began. So give yourself a limit, for example, 30 minutes a day for 2 – 3 weeks only. Make notes from the research you conduct: websites to refer back to, people you may want to contact, etc. And then stop. More research will not get you any further.
2. NETWORK in your new and old industry
Yes, in your current role as well. As they say, it’s who you know and you simply never know who will go on to do what in the future. You career change could inspire others to do the same and they may one day want to come to you for advice. Perhaps your new venture overlaps your current role and you may need a trial client yourself. Start heading to networking events – both local (search for small business owner groups on Facebook for your local area) and national. Face to face is always best, but joining online communities is also worthwhile – people are always happy to answer newbie questions.
3. GET CLEAR ON YOUR SKILLS
Transferable skills, that is. Whether your new way of working will be building on your current qualifications (e.g. becoming a self-employed accountant) or in a totally different industry, you will have built up a wealth of skills that can relate to any job. Focusing in on these skills will help solidify what you can offer and what you have accomplished and is a great way of building your confidence before making the leap. Again though, get specific. Teamwork sounds wishy-washy, but an example of what project you led, who you worked with and how your goals were accomplished together is much stronger. Remember all those interview questions you’ve been given in the past asking for examples of organisation, leadership, etc? Work from there. Write your list of skills into a document to refer back to and make sure your LinkedIn also reflects them.
Again, it’s very easy to over-plan so don’t spend too long procrastinating (we’ll be covering ways to avoid this habit next month). Have a plan for:
Leaving your current role. Check your contract – how long is your notice period? What will happen to your pension/healthcare etc?How your new job will work. If you’re self-employed, where will you work? What days and hours? If you’re going part-time, think about how you will fill your non-working days. Will you be 100% ‘off’ or will you still be checking e-mails?What’s your back-up plan? Not to rain on your parade, but it’s always worth considering, ‘What if?’ Not necessarily, ‘What if this fails?’ but certainly give yourself a time limit on how long you will dedicate whole-heartedly to this new role for it to work. If you haven’t earned enough income six months post-change, what other ways can you look at broadening your offering?Set-backs. Like a house extension, plans will take longer than expected and you’ll need more money than you think. Be prepared for this.
Most importantly in terms of planning though…
5. BE FINANCIALLY READY
Of course there are tales of people jumping ship with no savings and therefore ‘having’ to make their business work, but let’s be realistic. Change is exciting and waiting for those savings to build up can be a boring long slog, but unless you live on bread and air alone, those bills need to be paid. If you’re going self-employed/freelance, start your business on the side whilst still working full-time. Once you’ve started earning as much in your side-job as your main job for 3+ months, you can safely take the leap with a good degree of confidence. If the change is entirely impossible whilst still in your main role, simply get saving. Have a good trawl through your budget and cut out all the non-essentials to help you reach your financial goal quicker. Do you really need a cleaner? Is that 5 star holiday going to be any less enjoyable if you go 4 (or dare we say 3) star? These things quickly add up and delay the start of your Big Career Change.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES FOR CHANGING YOUR WORK LIFE
for questions about self-employment and tax.
to network, research new job opportunities and catch up on current industry news.
for efficient organisation and search features.
THREE FINAL TIPS
Don’t forget why you are making this change. Write it down somewhere so when the research/planning/saving gets arduous, you are reminded of why you’re putting yourself through this. More time with your family? More freedom? The chance to do something you’re passionate about?Share this journey with the important people in your life. Family, partners and friends will all be affected by the changes you are making so keep them in the loop of what to expect.Be self-confident and don’t give up!
If these tips have got you fired up to make a change in your work-life but you’re still not entirely sure what that change could be, you can book a FREE first coaching call with our career coach, Laura Capell-Abra, who can help you start getting clear on what you want. Click here for details.
No more ifs or buts.