Why being a Jack of all Trades is great grounding for a career change.
Last week within the Kick Start Your Career Change Mastermind there was a general theme amongst a number of the cohorts that they had become ‘Jack of all Trades’ within their careers. Over time they had seen their job grow in remit, taking on many things that were outside their initial responsibilities and this got me thinking and wondering are we all becoming Jacks and how does this impact the career change process?
Can't change career or won't?
Have you be thinking about making a change to your career for a while now? You know you want to do something but you quickly follow it up with why it isn’t feasible for us. However, what if you were to look at it differently and to start to question if these reasons are valid and actually is there something deeper going on?
When should I not change jobs?
Is there ever a good time to change companies or move into a different career? Unfortunately, we can’t put other aspects of our life on hold and we can’t foresee what the future is going to bring. We can only act on what is happening right now and if your job is dragging you down, if it’s making you feel miserable, it’s stifling you and impacting your personal life and your health, then the benefits you will reap from taking control of your career and making changes will infiltrate all the other areas of your life.
However, I do recognise that there are a few occasions when it may not be ideal timing and you may want to temporarily hit the pause button before resigning and moving to your new career. I am also not suggesting you resign with no plan or another opportunity lined up, but I do think there are steps you can be taking in the background that will prepare you for when you can let the breaks off and go full throttle. You see with each of these scenarios that there is still action, still reflective work, still discussions to be had (perhaps they may be very secret ones!) enabling you to explore what aspects of a job will work for you, will make you happy, will enable you to perform at your best. Taking action behind the scene will help you feel more positive about your situation and will enable you to see a brighter future.
At the Heart of a Career Change is a list of Questions
Client A’s burning question was what could she do that would bring her a better work-life balance. As a single mum, she was feeling the pressure of being there for the kids with working to meet her financial aspirations and was left having no energy or time for her own self-care and interests. She was on the road to burnout. How could she stop this, how could she find the life she wanted?
After years of working with the same organisation, Client B’s position was made redundant, she questioned how could she regain her confidence and find a career that would suit her and give her the financial security she craved.
Kerrie What Makes a Successful Career Change?
What do you think it takes to make a successful career change? An updated CV and LinkedIn profile? A healthy bank balance? Strong transferrable skills? An idea of what you want to do?
What would you think if I said none of the above was key – that I was off my rocker! Well, consider me that! Because to start your career change you do not need to have any of the above, yes knowing what you want to do or being clear on your transferrable skills can give you a head start but they are all things we can figure out on the way. Having a healthy bank balance can give you the freedom and luxury of time but prioritising updating your CV and/or LinkedIn profile is a waste of your energy if you have no idea of your end destination.
I define a successful career change as a move to a new job that gives you a greater sense of fulfillment, finding something that fits you better so you can be your true self, which meets your needs and desires. And to achieve this we need to have or be willing to work on our belief that we can and do deserve this, we must be willing to take action and be open to involving people. Let me explain more.
How Long Does A Career Change Take?
How long do you think it takes to change career, three months, six months, a year or two? I’ve had clients who have uncovered the direction of their next careers in 8 weeks and others who have made the transition over two years and my own probably was nearer three as it included retraining. It would be too simplistic to answer this question with a specific timeframe as ultimately there is no definitive answer to this question as the journey for each of us is unique, the starting point and the challenges we come across in our transition will vary.
I'm running on empty, but can't say no
‘I simply had no capacity left, overwhelmed with exhaustion being pulled in different directions, I knew something had to give and so I made the call’
Have you always had a history of being a strong performer? It wasn’t initially about career progression but rather being able to do a good job and being recognised for it. However, over time that commitment and ability got noticed and consequently, your level of responsibility and role took an upward trajectory. And at times you’ve even encouraged additional work, hungry for more variety, fresh challenges and new career opportunities.
And as your career grows, your personal life brings with it new experiences and demands, all of which come with their own ‘to do’ list. Getting married, raising a family, having pets, home renovations, looking after elderly family members. The ability to integrate all the different aspects of our life and keep all the plates spinning can become overwhelming and even take us to the verge of burnout.
Is Now The Right Time To Ask For A Pay Increase?
Over this last year has your job increased in times of its remit and responsibilities? Have you found that you are taking on additional activities but yet your pay has not changed? Is the frustration of doing more for the same amount of pay beginning to wear on you and there is a sense of resentment creeping in? However, then you look around you and friends and family members are being furloughed or even made redundant and you start to feel ashamed for being ungrateful?
When it is ok to ask for a pay review and what should you consider when putting your request forward?
How do you virtually network to develop your career?
People can be a great source of support when we are faced with uncertainty when we find ourselves working in unfamiliar settings and circumstances. People can be instrumental in finding our next career move and helping us make the transition, but how do we achieve networking for our career development when we find ourselves working from home?
Meeting colleagues in the coffee queue, connections by chance, listening to colleagues across the desk, all those ad-hoc meetups have been placed on hold as we enter our third lockdown here in the UK. Many people are once again forced to work from home which makes the building or expanding of our support networks more challenging. So how do you virtually build a community raising your profile and exploring potential career opportunities?
What is causing your career plateau?
In our careers and life, in general, we will have times when we are working towards goals, maybe it’s buying a house, working towards a promotion or studying and other times when we perhaps feel as though we are going through a quiet period when we take time to just be and enjoy the fruits of our labour. But sometimes quiet periods or plateaus can bring negative feelings such as dissatisfaction and boredom. To the outside world, everything may seem fine, and perhaps the job isn’t that bad, but something is missing or there is some frustration brewing.
When is a career plateau more than a quiet period? When the feelings we have are causing us emotional and/or physical distress it is time to take action. But what action we take will depend on what is driving these negative emotions. If we can uncover the reason we are feeling this way then we can be clearer about an effective course of action.
Here are 6 common reasons people feel frustrated in their careers and my recommendation for how to move forward.