If you are ready to head back into the workforce and ready to make a change into a different occupation, here are some simple steps to put you on the right path to a happy, successful and rewarding return to work.

IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

When thinking about a career change, it is vital you first identify what it is that really makes you happy, what excites you when thinking about a certain career?  Is there a particular job that you have always wanted to try but for whatever reason this had previously been unattainable?  Are there things that you may be especially good at but because of your previous employment, you have never been able to put these things into practice?  You may have previously worked as a hairdresser for instance, but have found you are extremely good at styling your home – why not look into a career in home decorating??  Make a list of the things you know you are good at, and similarly the things you feel you were not so good at in your previous jobs.  This will give you a clear and concise account of which areas you feel you may be better suited to.

EXPLORE ALL OPTIONS

Your new career has to be attainable for your lifestyle.  Identify the jobs that take your interest and that will be suitable to your specific needs. Firstly, are you qualified for this career?  Would you have to complete study in order to obtain this?  If you have a young family, will this new job fit in with childcare or school hours?  Do you have the support and back up to take a job which is out of these hours?  If you are thinking of studying in order to further your career, is the course applicable to online study, or would you have to travel to a University or Tafe in order to gain these qualifications?

THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER

Unlike when I was first making choices about my career, there are now SO many options available at our fingertips.  Bounce things off people, chat about what areas others could see you going in to.  Surf the net and see what careers are out there and the exact steps you would have to take in order to reach your goal. When I was plotting my career path, the males went into a trade, and us girls either left school to become hairdressers, or went on to study nursing or teaching. The options in 2014 really are limitless.  Take the time to research what is on offer in this big wide world of ours, and relate it back to whether it is a good fit for you.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

When I was making the decision for my career path I immediately thought I would go into nursing – it was a given really.  My mother, aunt, sister and cousins were all nurses, and I thought University sounded like a fabulous way to meet people and have quite a bit of fun.

The only problem was that after my parents worked so hard to put me through University, I finished my Diploma, worked for a couple of years, and then had the light bulb moment that I hated it.  I really had no warm fuzzy feelings going to work each day, only stress and worry, the only bonus was quite a good pay packet (and we all know there is more to life than money!!)

I decided the one thing I had always wanted to do was be a Mum, so spent the next 15 years dedicating myself to my family.  It was a time full of ups and downs, but I was in my element and loved every moment. Then when my youngest child was going to school, I decided I needed to return to the real world and get back into the workforce, which seemed extremely daunting at the time.

I flitted from job to job, just grabbing whatever came up really – I went from Nurse, to home maker, to an Inspector for the local Council, a swimming instructor and a first aid co-ordinator for the local school.  All these varied jobs filled my days in, but I was lacking enthusiasm, excitement, that buzz you get when you fly out of bed because you can’t wait to greet the day.

After many years and a lot of soul searching, I realised that my “creative” side was hugely lacking, and I wanted the freedom to be able to choose my own hours for the life style that suited my family.  I did some market research of my own, and decided to start up my own business from home.

Pin up girl for Career Change Happens???  Maybe not, but I am for the first time in many years content and happy with my newly chosen path. Go ahead, go for it!!! Follow your dreams, take a leap of faith. Make the change!!!

By Jennie

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