A school leaver today will have 17 jobs across five careers in their lifetime. The average for people today staying in their roles is three years and four months, according to McCrindle Research.
The days of staying in the same job for 40 years are over, and good riddance. As much as anyone loves their job, surely you’d get a bit stale after say, two decades? And maybe that’s where you come in. Perhaps you’ve come to the realisation that you do not love your job. Maybe it’s time to listen to that niggling voice in the back of your head telling you to write, paint, study computer science or become a personal trainer.
If it’s time for a new phase or challenge in your working life, read on for how to overcome the things stopping you from finding your dream job.
1. Help! I don’t know where to start.
In 2008, I was working in a job that I hated. I despised going into work every single day. After I had been made redundant, I was forced to confront my next career move. Feeling utterly overwhelmed (and unemployed), a friend recommend I read ‘What Colour is Your Parachute.’ It’s filled with exercises to help you determine what kind of field is right for you. It’s how I ended up right here, writing this for you.
What do you want to do? It’s a question that plagues us as deeply at school-leaving age as it does later in life. Choosing a new career or even a side-step in our current one can feel downright nerve-wracking. Leaving financial security to chase after something that feels like it should be a side hobby is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
We have all been "clueless" at some point in thinking of our future careers. Image: Paramount Pictures.
A great place to start is your local TAFE. They offer career/guidance counsellors at many campuses across the country. The service is available to people who call in and make an appointment. And often teachers are available to speak with those looking to enter their courses too.
2. I don’t have the skill set.
We’re living in fast times. If you’ve had time off work to raise a family or want a complete career change, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. What you need is relevant training that will actually get you a job, not a massive debt to pay off.
TAFE courses are taught by industry professionals, and the curriculum is developed in consultation with industry. Already having contacts in the relevant industry gives you access to leaders who can provide support, encouragement, and practical advice on the best job-hunt strategies.
3. I have dependents and rent to pay/a mortgage.
This may not be the advice you want to hear right now, but stick with your day job and study at night. Yes, this takes energy and dedication, but you will be able to keep income coming in while you update your skill set/polish off your plan for world domination.
Look for accredited courses from institutions like TAFE, which offer online and part-time study options that can fit in with and be part of an exit strategy from your current job. Sign up for a course and count down the days to your resignation.
4. But I’m 35(ish), have I left it too late?
Nope. Ever heard of J.K. Rowling? At 30, the ‘Harry Potter’ author was reportedly depressed and living on welfare. Fast forward four years, she topped the best-seller list and is now the richest author in history.