The Summer of Change? - Career advice blog - Position Ignition - taking you to the next step in your career

No one's told the weather yet, but summer is coming. Are you already counting down the days until your annual holiday abroad? Are you imagining yourself lying on a beach when you should be paying attention in a meeting? Are you trying to slim down your figure instead of fattening up your company's figures? If you're so unhappy in your career that the thought of going without a summer holiday makes you feel physically sick, you need a career change.

The only reason why Madonna never sang "we need a change in career" is because it doesn't scan as well as "we need a holiday". If you've been avoiding even thinking about your career for the past five years, you may feel like you have no idea how to change it. But that's not necessarily the case. If you're in the position of annually idolising your two weeks in the sun, you're no doubt an expert at choosing holiday destinations. And in many ways, choosing a new holiday destination is like choosing a new career. Here are three questions that you probably ask yourself when choosing a summer break and that you should be asking yourself if you're serious about changing careers.

1.  What's right for me?

You want a holiday you’ll enjoy, so if your family are all lifelong Barca fans, you like starting nights out at 10pm and you’re a scholar of the Catalan language, you’ll probably choose to go to Barcelona. Similarly, if you want a career you’ll enjoy you should look at your personal and family histories, your preferences and your areas of expertise in order to choose what career is best for you.

2.  Have I done my research?

At one stage, 24% of the world’s cranes were in Dubai. People who’ve gone on holiday there have often complained that it’s like one big building site, but you’d think that they’d have known what to expect before they went, given the emirate is famous for its grandiose construction projects. As a seasoned traveller, it’s likely that you take the time to check out any problems there might be with a particular destination before you book a holiday there, be it unappealing views from the villa or a ‘beach hotel’ that’s two hours away from the beach. Likewise, you should prepare yourself for the challenges a career change presents by researching them. Is the labour market of your potential new industry saturated? Will the commute to the company you want to work for be manageable? Do you have any insurmountable objections to the principles and values of that company?

3.  Have I got everything I need?

When British actress Ashley Jensen first went over to LA to try and break America, she had to walk everywhere as there’s no public transport system to speak of. To the Hollywood crowd, it was such an odd sight that she often got mistaken for a prostitute. The moral of the story is that when booking a Beverly Hills break, you check you either have a valid driving license so you can hire a car out there or enough liquidity so you can get a taxi everywhere. The other moral of the story is that if, like Ashley, you’re planning a big shift in your career, you should make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need to adapt to a new location, industry or position. If you’re relocating to Russia, you’ll need thermals for the winter. If you’re becoming a journalist, you need to invest in a good Dictaphone. If you’re taking up a more senior role, you might need a PA if you don’t have one already.

So, there are just three of the basic questions common to both holiday hunting and changing careers. Of course, in reality, organising a career change is much more serious than deciding which cruise to go on. If you're wrong about a holiday destination and you don't enjoy it as much as you thought you would, it's not the end of the world. It's just two weeks that'll be forgotten about by Christmas. However, if you make the wrong decisions when changing careers, you could end up in a long-term nightmare that ruins not just your life, but that of your family. The good news is changing careers isn't something you have to go through by yourself. If you feel you need expert support in analysing career change options or coming up with career change ideas, we can help. Drop us a note today if you’re sick of prioritising your holidays over your career.


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