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Careers advice is fundamental in making the right career change

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This is the time of year when many people are thinking about a career change. But it is very easy to make the wrong career choice and at this stage of your life mistakes can be time-consuming and costly. Good, professional careers advice is strongly advised to avoid falling into the trap of drifting into an unsuitable career path.

Potentially the career pitfalls are destructive. A lot of boxes need to be ticked in order to make the best career change for you. Let’s look first at practicalities. If you are making a career change, then it is assumed that you have already had a career in the past, so you need to look carefully at why you want to change career.

Is it that you have become disinterested in the career that you were doing? Is there a ceiling you can’t break through? Have you fallen out of love with the organisation? Careers advice based on psychology will help you untangle these issues.

Or is more to do with your personal circumstances? Do you want to spend more time with family? Do you have another career in mind or a hobby or project you want to indulge? Maybe you want to travel and see more of the world or maybe you feel you want to give something back to the world and offer yourself more selflessly. Getting serious career advice from a firm of occupational psychologists will do much more than help you pick through these considerations.

There are a lot of other factors to consider and that is where psychometric tests come in. If you are going to make a career change at this stage, you might as well do the job properly. Time is running out to re-address this issue in another couple of years, so you should aim to get it right this time.

Getting good career advice can help you identify several very important aspects other than practicalities. Have you considered how much your own personality impacts your career choice? Or your values and beliefs – maybe they’ve changed over the years? Or your interests. How motivated are you to succeed? How driven are you. Do you know that these personal factors can actually be measured and quantified using psychometric tests?

You must be careful here because only fully qualified occupational psychologists are able to interpret the results of these psychometric tests and give proper career advice based on the results. So, doing an online career test with a computer-generated report will not suffice. The real psychometric tests take up to five hours to complete so don’t take the short cut.

Once you have completed the questionnaires, the occupational psychologist will analyse the results and draw some preliminary conclusions about what careers advice would be most appropriate for you. Then you can sit down together, discuss those career options and formulate a career plan for the rest of your life.

Good luck.

is it a good time to change career after Covid?

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You may feel, with the uncertainty that continues with the Covid pandemic, that now is not the best time to look for a new career, or even a new job.

There is some evidence that suggests it’s a tough economy out there, full of fear and doubt. Inflation is rising rapidly. House prices have increased dramatically. Maybe now is not the time for a career change.

However, don’t feel like you have to put your life on hold. There is still a lot of positivity to be found. So, if you want to change career, now could well be the time to make it happen.   

Lots of businesses are still hiring as normal. In fact, some professions are in very short supply. Also, businesses that may have frozen recruitment during the shutdown period, and even as we come out of it, still need to fill those vacancies now that the economy tries to get back into gear. There are always some winners and some losers.

So, what to do if you want a career change post-Covid?

Prepare and Research

It’s always good to start your job search by preparing as much as possible. Ensure that you know what career is right for you and why. If you are not sure, then see a career analyst and make sure. Research the organisation – will you fit in? Know what you are talking about and impress recruiters with your knowledge and views.

Be Proactive

If companies in your chosen industry don’t seem to be recruiting, or if you’ve found the business you want to work for and they don’t have any vacancies, then don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Get the name of the manager in charge of recruitment, or the department you want to work for, and contact them directly. You can impress them with your determination.

Invest in Yourself

Get your CV up to date, brush up on your interview skills, and perhaps look into training courses that may enhance your standing with possible employers.  If you’re thinking about following a new career, perhaps it’s time to talk to a careers advisor to find out more about yourself and the industry that you want to be in.

Why do people get careers advice?

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There are many reasons people seek careers advice at different stages in their career.

15 and 16 year olds may need help with A level and degree choices. Even if they have an idea of what career would suit them best, the question remains: How to get there. What degree would be most useful for my future career? What A levels are needed to get into that degree? How to choose my career?

For older teenagers the question becomes even more pressing: What career path should I take? For those who have already left school and want to go straight to work, they need to urgently ask what career should I do?

Those in their twenties may have just left university and still don’t know what career is right for them. Or they may have thought they knew what career is best, but on entering that career path, they find it is not what they expected. They might start to wonder is this the right career for me after all.

Then there are those considering a career change at 30. When you reach 30, you have reached a level of maturity where you can look at the bigger picture of your career and life. Perhaps you now have a young family to consider? If so, that’s the most important thing in your life now. There’s a pressing need to provide for them and a deep desire to spend more time with them.

A career change at 40 or 50+? For such age groups the driving forces can are different once again. Perhaps your values have changed, and you no longer desire the same things that you did as a younger adult. Perhaps you now have a level of security and want to indulge other interests. Maybe you just want a better work/life balance?

A large proportion of those seeking a career change will fall into one of these categories. Perhaps 90%. Yet still there is another 10% whose motivations are very varied. For some, a change in career has been forced upon them. For those competing in sports, retirement can be forced upon you in your thirties. An injury or other medical condition may prevent you from continuing in your chosen career.

There are myriads of reasons why people think about changing career. The question for most is: What career path should I take at this stage? The answer for many is: see a career analyst to help you decide on the right career for you.

New Year, New Career

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The New Year is upon us. Christmas is over and it’s time to refocus on what you want to achieve in your career this year. Christmas bonuses, for what they were, are in the bank. Over the Christmas break you’ve had time to think. Now is the time to make the decision on what to do this coming year and for the future.

So, you are ready for something new this year. But what is the right career path for you at this juncture?

Should you stay in your present career and try to improve your situation? Talk to your boss and try to get a raise? A promotion? A change in your hours?

Or is it time for a complete change of career? A new career and a new you for the New Year? But then new questions pop up. What career path should I take? How to choose my career? What career is right for me?

Sometimes the New Year has a special significance at a certain age. You will be asking more specific questions: Can I change career at 30? Can I get a new career at 40? Am I too old at 50 to change career? Of course, the answer to all of these is positive. You’re never too old to do what you want with your own life. Life is short and you only get one shot at it.

Ask yourself:

Does my present career still interest me?

Is the environment I am working in the best one for my personality?

Does the organisation I am working for reflect my values and beliefs?

Am I making the best use of my abilities?

If the answer to any of these questions is NO. Then you need to start thinking about what career IS right for you. Life is full of opportunities. However, it is sometimes difficult to know which is the best route for you.

The simplest way to answer these questions is to see a specialist careers advisor. A career analyst can help you answer these questions using psychometric tests. With the results of these tests, they can guide you to the ideal career path for YOU. NOW.

Going Part Time

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More than 6 million people in the UK now choose to work part time in their career. A flexible, yet high-earning role is much easier to achieve these days.

Overturning traditional employment concepts, CEO’s, senior lawyers, directors of finance and others are choosing to go part time. It is becoming more normal for senior management to expect flexibility. Although often the extent of that flexibility is not publicised to their colleagues or outside the organisation.

Flexible working for mums has been evident in the economy for many years. But the shift in working patterns is not just working mums these days. Karen Mattison MBE, the founder of Timewise, a recruitment service specialising in part-time skilled jobs, says: “More than a third of our candidates are not mothers, and that figure is growing. Many are fathers; high-earning individuals who can survive comfortably with a reduction in salary”.

“Having children is just one of the reasons people may decide to work part-time. Some want to start their own business, go freelance, or need time to care for elderly relatives. For some, it is a lifestyle choice,” says Ms Mattison. “People are willing to forego the extra 25 per cent of salary. They would prefer to enjoy the time.”

The Covid 19 pandemic has also had an effect. Senior workers have been asked to go part time by employers trying to reduce costs. This has made it easier for these workers to make the change they were already considering. And it has allowed businesses to reap the benefits of cost reductions.

Ms Mattison expands: “It enables employers to retain their senior staff in tough times. Growing or cost-cutting businesses can still access high-level talent on a part-time basis, which otherwise would be unaffordable.”

However, those part-timers might prefer that their colleagues do not know their situation. According to a recent study, around a third would not use the word “part-time” to describe their work and 15% prefer to let their fellow workers believe that they are still full time, working from home. Employees can feel that they are not taken as seriously as full-timers, and this has negative connotations. The suggestion of ‘part time’ can also mean that clients feel that their needs aren’t being met 24/7.

But times are changing, and businesses are seeing the benefits of part time roles, particularly in senior positions. This creates opportunities for some to pursue a career change. They can reflect on their lifestyle and work/life balance or mentor young ones and school leavers. At the same time, they can allow businesses to benefit from their knowledge and experience whilst reducing costs.

Are you damaging your own career?

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Are you damaging your own career?

A recent survey showed that over 80% of us have made a serious blunder that had adverse repercussions on our career.  

It doesn’t have to be one big mistake. A few small ones over a period, or a poor attitude, can seriously affect your chances of a future promotion, an increase in pay or achieving the next step up in your career.

So, are you in danger of harming your own career? Here are some of the common ways you can damage your career prospects without realising.

Promises, Promises…

If you are promising big but essentially unachievable results, you are piling additional pressure on yourself for the future.

You may think that you’re going beyond the call of duty in your career, but if you don’t deliver on your promises, you are going to disappoint your manager, yourself and those around you.

So, set realistic career goals and you’ll end up looking better than if you promise more and deliver less. The art of career management is knowing how much you can do within a set time – and then delivering it successfully. Failure to achieve it will disappoint your managers, your peers and you. Ultimately it will cost you the progress you want in your career.

Complacency

When did you last learn a new relevant skill? Or think about making your work more efficient? Or look for a way to progress your career? Are you resting on your laurels?

If you let life pass you by, trudging on with your everyday routine, not thinking about your career progression, then don’t be surprised when you start to wonder ‘what am I doing here?’

Career opportunities do not fall into your lap. You have to go out and get them. Be proactive. If you’ve already been in your career for some time, waiting for a promotion but regularly being passed over, it may be because you’re not showing the initiative your company expects from you. Make your career development a priority and see what happens!

Fear of change

Are you afraid to move on in your career? You may be restraining yourself by being too scared to move forward in your career. It can be worrying, applying for a new role or making the frightening leap of a complete career change. Even learning a new skill requires some courage.

It’s normal to be hesitant when considering a career change. You may doubt your abilities or experience anxiety about making the right career choice. Fear of failure or the unknown can hold you back in your career. However, knowing your personality, skills and motivations can give you the confidence to make the right career choices now.

Careers Advice for those in their twenties

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Your 20’s are a formative point in your career. New career choices made now will have a profound effect on how the rest of your career will evolve. Those in the first decade of their careers will face alternatives that will affect the rest of their lives.

In this changeable economy, it is ever more complicated to know what career is right for you, let alone achieve it. Yet, with many facing student loan repayments soon, it is crucial that you make your career choice as soon as possible.

Like many people in their 20’s, you’re probably wondering ‘how to choose my career? The question is complex, but the process to answer it is relatively straightforward. A career analyst can provide career guidance to direct you to the right career for you.

Career analysts focus on constructing a psychological profile of you. What are you interested in? what would suit your personality? what would be in line with you values and beliefs and what would you be good at? These are the important factors to consider when choosing your career. They uncover these using psychometric tests.

Psychometric tests are mostly multiple-choice questionnaires. When the results are analysed by a qualified career analyst, they reveal a profile of you which can then be matched to success and fulfilment in your ideal career.

Is it Time for a Career Change

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Are you considering a Career Change? Do you feel that your present career doesn’t really achieve what you want? Maybe your values or circumstances have changed.

As you move into your thirties and beyond, it is important to re-evaluate your career path and ensure you are still on course in your career.

Ask yourself these questions to understand if your present career is still the right career for you.

  • Am I really happy in my career?
  • Am I doing as well as I expected to?
  • Is my career fulfilling my needs?
  • Am I working at the level that’s right for me at this stage?
  • Are new opportunities coming my way?
  • Have I got the right work/life balance? Is my quality of life good?
  • Am I making the most of my talents, abilities, experience and qualifications?
  • Have I gained the respect of my colleagues and bosses?
  • Is my career progressing as it should?

If you answer NO to some of these, then maybe the time has come to think seriously about whether you are in the right job. Consider this carefully as you don’t want to end up in another career which is no better than the one you’ve got!

A Career Analyst using psychometric tests will help you find your ideal career

A career analyst using psychometric tests will help you find your ideal career

Sometimes you may think your job is boring; that’s not uncommon. However, that’s just transitory. More importantly, is your career path the right one for the rest of your life?

So, the big question that follows is: If this isn’t the best career path for me, then what is? How do you figure out what career is right for you?

A career guidance counsellor using psychometric tests is a good start. They are called career analysts and they are usually qualified Occupational Psychologists. They use career tests to understand what makes you up. They look at your personality, values, interests, motivations and abilities so they can match you up with the best career for you.

So, if you are seriously thinking about changing careers at this stage of your life, find a good career analyst. They can point you in the right direction.

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Is University Right For Me? Things To Consider

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It’s that time of year when university starts to feel like it’s fast-approaching. You’ve likely been told to start thinking about your university application but might still be unsure whether or not it’s for you. That’s understandable; university is a big leap from sixth form or college and the varied UCAS application deadlines are probably putting pressure on you to make a decision early.

The ongoing debate of whether university helps you land your dream job is still very much spoken about. Many have the opinion that university just leaves you in massive debt without much real-world experience when you could have started a job within a company and already worked your way up to a higher position. The decision lies with the individual, nonetheless let’s remember that a degree has many benefits and now many jobs require you to have one. Students that flourish at university are quite often those who know exactly what career they want to do and therefore know the exact course they need to take. The ambition is there as they want to achieve and be qualified for their dream job, many even go onto postgraduate study their undergraduate degree, so they may further develop their skills and be the best they can academically be. For some, this is the path they know they want to take. They find essay writing or exams straightforward and achieved good results in their A Levels exams. For others, those who are perhaps more hands-on, getting straight into a career after school makes more sense. This is how they see themselves becoming successful and progressing within a company.

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Is a Gap Year Right For Me

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Should I take a gap year – will it expand my career options?

A gap year separates life-changing experiences: It can come between senior school and university or after university and before starting your career. It can be a life-changing experience itself but it’s not guaranteed to be a force for good. Usually, it develops your skills and experience, thus expanding what options you have for your career.

A gap year isn’t just a vacation, it is actually a part of your education. It is not supposed to be a protracted holiday – really, it is a time to think about what career path you will aim for in the future and draw up plans for this along with the next stage of your education if relevant.

Historically, gap years between university and full-time employment were concealed and the resultant hole in your CV was doctored. These days, many businesses look on a gap year as a positive factor when hiring graduates; it is regarded as a chance to enrich your life experiences and as a positive for your career.

Nowadays, a gap year is not only the privilege of the wealthy; studies show that in recent years many more of us have taken advantage of the possibility. Considering the costs of education these days, it makes a lot of sense for each of us to fully understand what career would be the most suitable for us and what education choices would be best for us to move in that direction. Taking a gap year can be much less expensive than changing your university degree course.

If your gap year is planned well it can be a great deal more stimulating than your initial university year. For example, if you use your gap year to travel abroad you will gain really useful experience of another nations culture, and a basic knowledge of a different language. It will help you to develop your understanding of the world. It can ignite a passion in you that will eventually lead to a much more fulfilling career path.

What you do with your gap year makes a huge difference to your long-term career prospects.

What makes a good gap year?

  • Expanding your life skills
  • Clarifying what options you have for your career
  • Learning a language
  • Gaining work experience for a possible future career
  • Teaching English as a foreign language while living abroad
  • Becoming a volunteer

Advantages of a gap year

  • Your gap year can be a time to reflect; when the purpose of your education is put in the perspective of your career choice
  • It creates a more profound self-awareness that can be used in your future career path
  • Your career goals are clarified
  • New surroundings offer new challenges and dealing with them develops character
  • You become braver due to being challenged; obstacles appear less intimidating