Many people who make a significant career change can trace this back to a trigger point, something that pushed them to re-evaluate where they were, and what they wanted to do and be. Sometimes this flash point can be quite dramatic, as was the case for Jane Hardy.
Jane had a high-powered job in sales in the financial sector, on the road, spending weekday nights in hotels, always looking for the next deal, the “kill.” Then her life changed dramatically when at the age of 42 she suffered a cardiac arrest. Only 5% of people survive this experience, and Jane was one of the lucky ones. As a result of this experience, she took at good hard look at her life. “I felt like she had been given a second chance and I wanted to make a difference.”
Jane retrained as a debt counsellor, working for different charities and starting her own debt counselling service. This led her to discover networking and eventually the Fabulous Women network where she said “I felt like I’d come home. It was all about collaboration, support, and supporting others to be successful.” Jane’s involvement in networking led to her third career. She joined Fabulous Women as a regional manager, and 18 months down the line, she now owns the company!
Fortunately for most people, the trigger will be a less dramatic but can still be life-changing. Events such as a significant birthday, starting a family, redundancy, or seeing children off to college, can push us to re-evaluate what matters in our working lives, and find a more satisfying future.
For Laura Geaves, hitting her 30th birthday was the trigger for a career change. Laura had been working as a PA. When she turned 30, she looked at where she was in her career and realised that there was no way up in the company and role she was in. This led her to asking herself some searching questions: “What am I actually achieving in life? What do I really enjoy?”
For Laura, marketing had always been something she thought was interesting and she decided to make it her career. She took her Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification and is now a Marketing Executive at KPC Creative Communications, a consultancy in Farnham, Surrey. Unlike her previous job, this business offers career progression, and Laura is working towards becoming an account manager. Laura’s advice for career changers is to “Look at what you are interested in, be committed, and believe in yourself.”
However uncomfortable the trigger point, people commonly look back and see it as a step towards more positive and satisfying work. And you can sometimes avoid reaching a crisis point in the first place by picking up earlier on signs that you need a change, such as ongoing feelings of stress or boredom, or just a niggling feeling that something isn’t quite right.
If something is in your life, or inside yourself, is telling you that it’s time for a change, then it’s wise to take notice and spend some reviewing where you are, and where you want to be.