If you've been inspired by what you have read on these web pages, where do you go from here? Here are a few tips and resources that might help you.
Considering a career change?
- What is your motivation for considering a change?
- What else is it that you would like from your career, which your current work or lifestyle doesn’t offer?
- What skills and experience do you already possess, which you would like to use in a future career?
- What lifestyle issues are important to you in relation to your career choice?
- Are you prepared to consider undertaking some further study, either on a part-time or a full-time basis?
There are all sorts of factors which affect the career choices people make - the impact of family and friends, current responsibilities, values and beliefs, interests, academic achievement and finances.
Crucial factors are self confidence and a belief in what is possible. The sort of contacts you have, the networks you have access to and an awareness of your own skills and abilities are also important.
Many people make decisions about the sort of work they would like to do, with a very limited awareness of the options open to them, or the entry requirements.
This simple four-stage process could help you to turn your dreams into reality.
Stage 1 - Take stock
Begin by reflecting on yourself, your positive features and how you feel about your life. A great starting point is to use some of the resources on Windmills Interactive.
Completing the Life Fitness Check will help you to identify how satisfied you are with your current situation and some of the areas which you might need to work on. You might also find it interesting to complete the What am I like? simple personality inventory on the BBC website.
In addition why not complete the Career Wheel PDF, which you can download from the Monster website?
This will get you to focus upon factors like your current job satisfaction, earning potential, work-life balance and to pinpoint which particular aspects of your working situation that you would like to change.
Finally, try the Career Values Tool from Learn Direct.
Stage 2 - Do your research
Once you have begun to understand yourself and what is important to you, the next stage is to begin your research. It's helpful to find out as much as you can about the areas of work which you are interested in. If you aren´t sure what type of work would suit your skills and aspirations, complete one of the online interest guides.
Although What jobs would suit me on the Prospects website is primarily geared to current undergraduate students, if you are planning to explore the option of going on to university, it might provide some useful pointers on which degree subject might be most relevant.
You can also find an insight into over 420 graduate occupations on the Prospects website.
For details of an even wider range of areas of work, the Connexions jobs database provides extensive information.
In addition there are job profiles on Learn Direct for over 700 occupations.
Advice Resources is another online database providing detailed profiles for over 700 occupations.
Stage 3 - Make some decisions
So just how do people make career choices? There is an interesting podcast which you might like to listen to on the Learn Direct website entitled Do we choose jobs in the same way that we choose holidays?
At this point you might be keen to talk to a Careers Adviser about your own situation. Impartial careers advice is available via Learn Direct where you can get help updating your CV and assessing your skills.
In addition, Sheffield residents can make direct contact with Sheffield Futures for individual careers advice.
Stage 4 - Make it happen
The final stage is to take some action to actually make things happen. These are just some of the many things you might need to do next:
- Search for appropriate vacancies
- Investigate opportunities for further training, either full-time or part-time
- Talk to people working in the areas you are interested in
- Update your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Contact some of the organisations you are interested in working for
- Investigate opportunities for self employment
- Apply for jobs and courses
- Prepare for interviews
The future is yours to create. We hope that this brief introduction to career planning will help you to dream bigger dreams.