With the second lockdown looming ever so closely, I have started to think about some of the changes that have happened since the first lockdown. So many people have had to adjust their lives to this new normal, and I am not sure when it will ever begin to feel normal. People started up the businesses that they had always dreamed of doing, they took the time that never usually had to spend with family. For some people lockdown allowed them to really think about what they want from life and for others it was some of the most difficult times due to money, redundancies and more.
I was laid off from a job that I loved and I started to ask the age old question, What do I want to do with my life? Being 25 and on the cusp of 26, having been out of university for almost 5 years now I thought that I had found the answer to that. But as soon as that email came through saying that I could no longer work for the magazines that had brought me so much joy for 7 months I had so many questions. It was hard to be laid off, but what was harder was trying to find work in a climate where there was so much uncertainty. I applied for several marketing roles and even managed to get some interviews booked in. As I began prepping for these interviews I was getting excited for what I could bring to these companies. As I thought about all of the things that I could do at these companies, I then began to think about how it would be good for a little while but I would begin to feel a bit lost again.
For the past few years I have always somehow gravitated to marketing roles, working with a focus on social media and website engagement. I loved the work, but after a little while the passion for what I was doing began to dissipate. Everyday began to feel like the same and I tend to be someone that gets bored and needs to be constantly excited for the work that I am doing. This is where I began to really think about what I wanted from a job.
I knew that I wanted to find a job where there is a change everyday, where I would always feel excited to be going into work. I also wanted a career, not just a job, somewhere that I can grow and expand my abilities and capabilities. I wanted a mix of creative and studious, something that allowed me to show my studious side as well as my creative side. Part of me also wanted to get back into study, which is a weird thing to say considering I am still in debt from my degree. Tom and I discussed the possibility of me going back to university, even though we knew we would struggle because we were unsure of Tom’s job security but it was something that I just had to do. So after some research I started the application process to become a primary school teacher.
So how do we know when it is time for a career change?
I honestly didn’t know. I was laid off and then began to ask the questions that many of us do when we are unsure as to whether we are on the right career path. All I know is that when I started to ask these questions, the career path that I was on wasn’t fitting in with my answers. I know that passion tends to be the word on most people’s lips when it comes to thinking about what we want for a job, but it doesn’t always seem to fit into what we need in this day and age. Although passion is a huge part of loving your job, but a lot people also need to think about financial security, the perks that come with a role and also sometimes the kinds of interactions that we need from a job role.
What are some of the questions that we need to be asking ourselves when it comes to our careers?
What is my personality?
Our personality is what makes us who we are and our personalities play an important role in our working lives. I have worked in pubs and bars and being bubbly and friendly was necessary for my job and ability to get a decent tip. When working in stores I had to be friendly, considerate and honest to the customers when it came to selling them products. When working in an office I had to be independent and professional so that I could get the work done but I also had to be able to network at events and get along with co-workers. Although all of these jobs were quite different from one another, they all showed that for me to be happy in a job I like to connect with people, learn new things and be able to work independently sometimes and have moments working as a team.
What are my values?
Everyone in the world has values and these values should definitely play a role in choosing your career path. After spending my early twenties working in bars and clubs, heading to work when the sun sets and finishing when it rises. Now that I feel far more settled in my life, I knew that I wanted more of a 9-5 job where I could enjoy my weekends with Tom and our families. I also knew that I wanted a job where I could help people. Now I am definitely not smart enough to be a doctor and not hardcore enough to be a nurse, but I knew that I wanted to help. I wanted to make a difference for the next generation and teaching children in primary school was a great way for me to meet that value.
What other questions should we be asking?
Where do you want to live?
Is travel in a career important?
What role is work going to play in your life?
How much do you want to earn?
Do you want a career that allows for advancement?
What kind of perks are important to you?