Are you are coming back to the job market after a career break? Or are you feeling frustrated in your current role and looking for a new challenge? There are times in our lives when, for whatever reason, we feel we need to take a step back, take a good look at our career as a whole and really think about what is and what is not working for us.
There are three key, interlocking parts to a good career decision:
1. Understanding what drives and motivates you
2. Making the most of your skills and experience
3. Knowing where the opportunities lie
Give yourself time to think things through carefully – career decisions should not be rushed.
What motivates you?
To begin to understand what drives and motivates you, think about previous roles you have performed well in. What was the key to your success? Did you work well in a particular team or did you thrive as a manager? Was there something about what the organisation did that was important to you, or was it career progression and salary that motivated you? What are you passionate about?
When are you at your best in a job?
We tend to underestimate the skills and experience we have to offer. Remember that you have gained skills and experience from all areas of your life, not just work. Think about an achievement you are proud of and list all the skills you used in obtaining your goal. If you are struggling, try asking a friend or former colleague to help you – ask them to give you feedback on the skills and attributes they value in you.
To get started have a go at completing the following statements:
One thing I do very well is…
A recent problem I’ve handled very well is…
People can count on me to…
Make your own luck
Knowing where the opportunities lie is a key part of the career decision process. You need to understand what type of roles employers are recruiting for, and what skills and experience they want. Use jobsites to research the market, by reading job descriptions and person specifications. This will help you identify the roles you can do and spot any additional training you might need. Don’t spend all your time in front of a screen though. Your network of friends and former colleagues will be a valuable source of information and support.
Our sister company, Women Like Us, hold regular Career MOT workshops in London. These small group sessions are particularly designed for women who have had a career break or are wanting to change their career direction.