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The grass can be greener...

Journey 1

The days of a ‘Job for Life’ are a bit outdated and most people now will change jobs at least eight times during their career. What we need to consider is how to find all the possibilities open to us, and then take those steps to further our career.

A role change in the workplace can be either voluntary or unavoidable and you may well ask yourself, “OK, so what’s next for me?” These days it’s a generally accepted fact that people change jobs – sometimes even their career – as much as eight times throughout their working life. Some of these changes can be forced upon you e.g. company restructure; business takeover; an organisation moving to a different area; workplace changes that affects what is being produced/delivered etc. However, if you’re looking to make a clean break, either voluntarily or otherwise (e.g. redundancy) and you’re now looking at the options that you think may be available to you, the list can range from ‘limited’ to ‘the world’s your oyster’. But for the majority of people, it’s definitely the latter. Oh really? How so?

Let’s consider an example of a person (Age 35), having worked in the financial sector for over 15 years, realised that they weren't happy with their role and decided to study medicine instead. They became a doctor a few years later and continued to enjoy that role for many years. Quite a dramatic change of direction! And that’s not as unusual as it sounds. What they had was a determination to succeed in their newly chosen career – whatever the obstacles. The problem is, many people are held back by self-imposed limitations: “I haven’t got the right experience”; “I’m not sure if I’d like it”; “The commute would be difficult”; “I’m too old” etc. It boils down to coming up with a list of reasons not to do something when so many opportunities could be perfect for you!

So yes, why not? What might be seen as always moving around or changing jobs may be the result of poor job satisfaction and sometimes simply feeling you’re in a rut or suffering the ‘glass ceiling syndrome’, which can lead to serious frustration. But, again, the opportunities for breaking free are often more possible than people believe. Of course there are limits and you need to apply common sense too. After all, you may only be looking to move to a separate department within your current organisation. In any event, a plan of action is required – and actually starting on a plan can often be the prompt for you to take action. This will involve some research (including job sites and roles being advertised both by agencies and employers) and, importantly, having chats with those who can offer advice and guidance. 

Look at the options, research the possibilities, and act.

The reasons for wanting to make a move can be many and varied, and often the next barrier you face is, “What’s next for me?” At this stage the number of opportunities can be over-whelming, so what you need to do is work out the most relevant or suitable ones to you, make a plan and then do some research before launching yourself into the job market.

The public sector can offer a diverse range of opportunities that should always be considered when you are wondering “is the grass greener”?

Key Points

  • Reasons for the need to make a change (voluntary or otherwise)
  • Consider all the options
  • Make a plan for action
  • Research and network