There’s no more an important decision in life than the one you make about your next career move. Before you jump the gun, you need to be sure you aren’t going out the frying pan and into the fire. It’s an easy mistake to make when you make a career decision based on emotional factors, rather than following what your heart desires.
Advice from a careers expert helps you make the right decision, when you’re in the right frame of mind, using both emotional hotspots that drive you, as well as factoring in your own morals to determine a career path suitable to your personality.
A career move is completely different from switching jobs. It’s going from one field into unchartered territory, and often requires training.
If you’re going to go the academic route, from a non-academic career, you’re going to have your work cut out for you. You need to factor in your family’s financial situation, and whether you can afford to go through any university education. Or even just a short 6-month college course – before you go handing in your notice, excited about a new career change.
The one question you must ask yourself before any decision is made is the question of “Will I regret this in ____ years time if I do or don’t make this change?”
There’s a number of reasons you could be looking for a career change. It could be finances, job satisfaction, or not enjoying your working environment if you aren’t getting on with your co-workers. Which if it is, then switch jobs and not careers, provided you like the work but not the employer you’re doing the job for.
Career decisions need your utmost focused attention to ensure you’re making your choices based on both emotional and rational thinking, leading to a switch into a field that’s right for you. Every person is different, and that is the main reason you should be looking to a professional careers advisor about your next career move. They are the people who know the job sectors, but more importantly, they can get to know you. Often better than you know yourself.
If not, a careers advisor will raise the bar on your self-confidence. You’ll be taken as far back as your high school education, and discuss every short course you’ve attended, part-attended and received certification for. Including that health and hygiene, or hand-washing course, you may or may not have gone on. It’s education, it shows you’re open to ongoing training, and more importantly, every course you attend whether it’s a day, a week or a month, that’s carried out for the benefits of an employer, costs the company money.
Anytime that happens, you’re worthy of investment, so therefore, you’ve done a good job and potential has been seen.
That’s a star quality in any job candidate across every sector. The willingness for continual career development. AKA – CPD.
Whether it’s a career change or just a new job with a better quality of employer, you must have the knack to sell yourself, and skip the part of selling yourself short. That’s what a careers advisor does by working with you.
Helping you hone in your CV presentation, and perhaps even running through a mock test to measure your cover letter and your CV through a scan test to see if it draws the eye to the most crucial parts of your resume. The part that peeks the recruiter enough to continue reading, learning more about you, leaving them intrigued just enough to be excited at the prospect of meeting you in person, at the interview.
From the initial scan test, or CV prepping stage, your careers advisor may even offer to run through a mock interview with you, helping you prepare for the interview, and giving you tailored advice on where you should focus on strengthening your interview techniques. Not in a way that advises not to do something, unless it’s put across with advice on what to do instead. I
t’s all about raising your confidence, making you feel like the superstar that deserves the opportunity for employment with whomever you decide to apply to work with.
That is one key component to the services of a careers advisor. By speaking with you about what you’re doing at the moment for a living, and why you initially chose that career path, you’ll learn more about the choices you’ve already made. There may have been a life experience at some point in your career that’s taken the drive out your work, losing the job satisfaction that you once felt you had. That could be anything from feeling as though you’d be further up the career ladder at this stage in your life, or it could be the restructuring of the organisation you’re working for, has lead to a higher degree of responsibility, and in tough economic times, probably with next to no visible salary increase.
When you’re affected by business restructuring, increasing your workload, minus a financial incentive to do so, it can drastically affect your job satisfaction. The feeling of not being valued for the work you do will do a number on your self-confidence. When that does become an issue, a careers advisor can
1) Advise you on the best approach to your current employer for a salary negotiation
2) Help you position yourself as an expert in the eyes of others who will pay you the salary you’re after by switching jobs, into a higher position than you’re in currently
A careers advisor can discuss the pros and cons of both, helping you to decide what the best course of action is to suit your career plans.
That’s the ultimate aim of a careers advisor. Not to tell you to do one thing or another but to ensure you know your options. That’s done through skills analysis and identifying your own personal traits. If you’re in the sales field, and don’t believe in the product or service you’re selling, you’re definitely going experience contradiction between meeting target sales objectives, and your moral obligations to do what’s right by you. i.e. selling life insurance to a cancer patient. Not the telesales call you’re looking forward to when you get up for work in the morning.
Sales is only one example of moral contradiction in a career. But when it does happen, you may feel compelled by your morals, to change careers, when in fact you could use your expertise in the sales field to do good by society, by switching from a corporate structure to a job in the charity sector, where you’re fund raising instead of selling. As the old saying goes – when there’s a will, there’s a way.
A careers advisor helps you find that way.