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Can I Really Change My Career?

Joanna Clare
If we don’t feel fulfilled in what typically consumes approximately a third of our lives, it becomes mentally and physically draining, which can, in turn, make us ill and this is exactly what happened to a former colleague of mine.

After leaving school he enrolled on a course in college that his father insisted on. Much to the delight of his father, this led to a career in a respected male dominated industry. However, almost thirty years later he is still there, promoted several times but still sat behind a desk with his computer switched on for five long days each week. He attributes his long-standing depression directly to his work but has sadly resigned himself to remaining ‘comfortably uncomfortable until retirement arrives.

Long gone are the days of our great grandparents where one job was for life but the above is proof that some of us still insist on staying in a job for fear of what others may think of us or say. Others stay for financial reasons, believing their salary is more important than their own well-being. Of course, mortgages and rent have to be paid, but the ultimate price should not be ourselves.

I’m a firm believer that we are capable of anything we set our mind upon and jobs are no exception. Well, when I say ‘ anything’, maybe I should rephrase this to ‘ mostly anything’, because of course, you’d be rather foolish to think that if you have a phobia of heights and two dodgy knees that you can become a tree surgeon. Or indeed, if your lack of baking skills leave so much to be desired that even the local foxes turn their noses up at it, it’s unlikely that you’ll be considered for the vacancy of head chef, starting next Tuesday.....but there are ways around it!

Research the job you want to do and seek different avenues of entry. You may not begin where you want to end up but you’ll certainly have the advantage of being able to prove yourself and push yourself forward for promotions when they arise.

Take full advantage of any courses, workshops or seminars, either online or in person ( currently the former due to COVID restrictions). You can often find these yourself by an online search,  many are free or low cost and you can work at your own pace. Not only will you enhance your C.V. but you will be showing prospective employers that you are serious and just think of the sense of personal achievement once you have completed a course!

Volunteer! I’ve lost count of the sheer volume of people who have been offered varying roles after periods of volunteering. Volunteering can be months or even years and can be limited to just a few hours per month but what you’re showing here is true commitment.

Try not to take rejection personally. It may not feel like it at the time, but there will always be some other opportunity- I promise you.

Remain enthusiastic and positive. Work on eliminating self doubt- the little voice that is constantly criticising us and telling us we’re not good enough.

Remember you are never too old or too young or too anything to create your dreams and realise often untapped potential. There will always be naysayers, people who don’t believe in us but I find that often when these people voice negativity, it’s usually from an unfulfilled place within themselves and their own limitations, so we should not take this on.

There’s a wise old saying that goes like this...’You are not in competition with anybody. You are only in competition with yourself’.

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