Considering a Career Change?
Welcome to the “secret” page for Cuidiú Cork! This is intended to be a quick stop for those of you who are considering a career change after having a baby, or at any other stage in your life. When I offered to share some tips in this area to one member on the Cuidiú Cork Facebook page, many others reached out for the same information - so I am guessing there may be more of you who need this!
Please remember this is a starting point only and is kept generic because I don’t know each of you personally. At the time of writing, (30th April 2019), I’m almost 34 weeks pregnant on my first child so not taking any new clients. But if you are reading this any time from January 2020 on and want to discuss your situation further, you can always contact me here or find me on Facebook.
Until then, I hope this is of help to you and I wish you well with whatever decision you make.
Step 1: Deciding to Make a Decision
The first step may seem obvious, but often we are so fearful of making the “wrong” decision that we put it off day after day, week after week. While it is great to allow yourself the time to fully consider your choices, indecision weighs on the mind and takes up energy which I expect you could be using in other parts of your busy lives! Remember there is no right or wrong decision, simply a decision. It can revisited again in 1 year, 2 years or whenever is right for you - and you can then make a new decision depending on what you need. I am a big fan of The Life School Project and there is a really good podcast on this topic which I would recommend anyone to listen to. Here is the link - Episode 264: Decision Debt. I also have a blog on Difficult Decisions if you’d like to check that out.
Step 2: Consider the Long Term (if you wish to)
Before you begin looking at each of your options, it may benefit you to consider how this career change fits into the long term. Again, this is just one decision in a series of decisions you will make throughout life. If it takes you in another direction for a while, is that really a bad thing? I don’t know about you but I think today’s world is so focused on the here and now, that we forget that this is simply one part of a longer journey. I found this TED Talk really helped me remember this - it’s not at all about career changes by the way but does make you think about “short-termism”.
Step 3: Reflection
We are now ready to begin and it’s time for a bit of reflection. I know that some of you struggle to find time for a shower, never mind reflection, but trust me it’s worth it! Allow yourself even 15 minutes with a pen and piece of paper to reflect on the most recent job you have had. I’d like you to consider the following:
What did you like about the type of work you did?
What did you like about the culture and the people you worked with?
What others things did you like - for example was it close to home, did it have really good benefits, did it have flexible hours?
Focusing only on the positive, do your best to draw out all the positive elements that you would like to see in the next job. This is especially important if you are looking at a career change because it helps identify those things that are “must haves” as you move on.
The second part of reflection is on your life at the moment and the reason(s) you are considering a career change. For every person it’s different and completely depends on what is motivating you to consider a job and company different to where you work, or last worked. Again some examples may be:
The current company and / or job doesn’t allow for the balance you need between work and home
The current job is no longer challenging you to grow professionally
The current job no longer appeals to you, or didn't for sometime, and this is the opportunity to try something new
Knowing the reason(s) you are looking to change will help you decide whether you are going to change career, change company, change job within your company or perhaps simply change part of your current job.
At this point, I should point out that if you are considering returning to work, (rather than already being back at work and thinking of a change), there are two more areas for you to look at. If your primary motivator is financial, it’s still really really important to return to a job that you will enjoy because of the work, people or some other reason. That being considered, I find this Budget 2019 Calculator from PWC really helpful because it will calculate your “take home” pay and may inform your decision. The second thing I’d like you to consider is whether you would still be looking to make a change if you were able to return to work gradually. or with different hours. If the answer to this is no, then perhaps a chat with your current employer will be your first step.
Step 4: Imagine!
This is possibly my favourite step. It’s time for you to let your imagination bring you into the future, to a “typical” Wednesday in your new job. I’d like you to close your eyes and visualise how the day will unfold for you. What time do you get up and what’s the new morning routine? How do you dress for work and how do you feel as you look forward to the day? What type of commute do you have? When you get to work, what are the people you work with like? What will you be doing during the day - what parts of the day do you most enjoy, and what parts make you look forward to Friday! What do you have planned for when you get home? Will you need to make dinner or pick up the kids? Keep going as long as you can to really imagine what this future will look and - most importantly - feel like.
If you don’t already have a new job, company or career in mind then spending some time browsing job sites is a great way to explore what’s out there. I typically keep the job search very very broad at the start - I want to see all types of jobs! For some of them I know straight away they aren’t for me and, for others, I spend a couple of minutes letting my imagination run to see if it could be an option. Remember there is no harm in looking and you may find you are considering jobs and companies you never would have.
Step 5: Back to Reality
Allowing your imagination bring you into a couple of different options can be very helpful when considering what else is out there. We then need to come back to reality to refine your choices. At this point I’d like to suggest that if a new career is appealing to you, it may be helpful to speak to other people who work in the same area or try to secure an interview for a job of that type. (Going for interview doesn’t mean you have to commit to talking the job and may give you the information you need to move on to the next step).
If you are now looking at a new job and / or a new employer, it’s time to ask yourself these questions:
Is the salary / wages (if available) realistic for you? Remember the Budget 2019 Calculator
Will the commute work? Enter the journey - including information about when you will need to arrive at work - in Google Maps to check
What changes will have to be made to other areas of your life? Is there the support in place today for this or are there other things to be done first?
Does it support what you discovered during Step 3: Reflection
A Closing Note: There is so much more I’d like to cover here! At the moment my bump feels like there is a rave going on and I’ve a very real need to both sleep and eat a Solero Exotic so I’ll have to wrap it up for now. I hope this gets you started and if I am able to add more, I’ll post an update on the Facebook group! Niamh