Planning a career change or return to work needs time, organisation and effort. Unless you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to do, it can be difficult to know where to start.
There are many things to consider including what you would ideally like to do, what you can offer a new employer, can you afford to take a lower income with a view to progressing, what transferrable skills have you got and what do you want from a new role. Therefore you need to think long and hard about yourself, your abilities and your goals.
Many people do not realise what a vast range of transferrable skills they have gathered during their working life. A good way to really assess what you have to offer is to write a list of your responsibilities or experiences and break these down showing which skills you have used. You can then take this further and analyse things further.
A simple example of this would be someone looking at returning to work after many years looking after family. This may seem frivolous but it shows how to go about things.
Responsibility: Managing the household
Skills: Assessing preferences, negotiating, planning, budgeting, purchasing, health & safety, presentation
You can do this exercise covering many aspects of your current job and it will give you the time to really assess what you can offer and present in a CV.
Deciding which type of organisation you want to work for can also help you narrow down your job search. Choose what you want from an employer and what you don't want. e.g.
Once you've narrowed down what you're looking for you can start to identify suitable companies and organisations to contact.
Looking at your current position, write down your responses to the following questions:
Now you are ready to present yourself to a new employer. Provide them with all the information that is relevant to the position you are applying for and place emphasis on what the employer wants. Remember to always be honest about your aspirations.
Let them know you’re willing to learn and develop with their organisation and remember that as well as IT, numeracy and good communication skills, employers want their staff to be experienced in some or all of the following:
Prepare your CV and get several people who know you well to read it before presenting the final draft, and then off you go!
Treating your job search as a project which needs constant attention and effort, preparation and focus will improve your chance of success.
© Pennie Muir, Holdsworth Personnel