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Why you need a Career Review

The world is changing

Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst for so many changes in how we work and live as individuals, families and as a community. The world of work was already in the middle of an environmental and technological revolution with rapid change underway - the pandemic has hit the accelerator pedal with many people and organisations finding the need to adapt – and quickly.

We have been in a stronger economic position, with low levels of unemployment. With the ending of the furlough schemes it is anticipated that unemployment levels will rise in the autumn, and some academics are predicting a longer-term U-shaped recovery rather than the hoped-for V-shaped bounce back.*

The impact of this bigger economic picture on us as individuals, causes us all concerns about redundancy and reduced number of hours of work available. It’s a scary situation to be in anyway, but with less job opportunities and increased competition for jobs, even more so.

While as individuals we have little control over the wider economic climate there is action, we can take to help minimise the effects and manage our career more effectively. We need to understand that looking for your next opportunity doesn’t start when your current job or project finishes, it is an ongoing activity that needs to be nurtured over the long term.

Your life changes

One way that you can be more in control is to review your career. A nationally delivered pilot project concluded in 2015** that undertaking a “Career MOT” leads people to:

• Explore other career options

• Increase their motivation

• Improve their health and wellbeing

Usually, we will think about reviewing our career when we have that trigger event which pushes us into action. Redundancy or the threat of it can be that trigger; other changes forced on us can include ill health, children leaving home, reformed relationships or it may be more of a slow-burn whereby you are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the work you are doing.

When people move into the second half of their career, they can become fearful of being left behind, irrelevant or out of date. It’s recognised that people can fear change or even the lack of it; of being stuck in limbo. This is in contradiction to their recognition of their own quality experience and skills still on offer.

Many others seek to review their career when they want to re-invent themselves. With experience comes increased awareness of your own strengths, values, how you see yourself and how others see you. You are more confident about the practicalities you need to deal with before moving on. This step towards BE MORE ME resonates with the need to feel more satisfied, fulfilled and achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.

Everyone gains

Of course, a person centred approach to career planning has the benefits for the individual, for example: to build confidence, identify and improve skills with an eye to future skill demands and prepares people for a longer working life with a step-down to retirement, rather than a cliff-edge.

Employers can also benefit from their staff undertaking an impartial careers conversation by gaining:

• A better understanding of the workforce

• Improving productivity and motivation

• Realising the full potential of a diverse workforce, with opportunities for inter-generational learning

Managing our career development has always been a lifelong process and the current situation demands fostering a positive attitude to adapting in a fast-changing world. You probably regularly review your finances, health and the state of your car with a professional. Why not invest in yourself and add in a regular review of your career, ideally with an impartial professional? Starting to look for your next opportunity that is right for you starts today.

References:

*Warhurst, Professor C, 2020, Warwick Institute of Employment Research, Warwick University, The Shape of the Workforce to come?

**Watts, J, et el, NIACE, 2015, Mid Life Career Review: Pilot Project Outcomes (2013-2015).

About Yvonne Owen-Newns

Yvonne is a fully qualified and experienced Careers Adviser. Like many others, her career hasn’t been straight-forward, but she has demonstrated how she has built up resilience and flexibility to adapt to circumstances. Her varied career has drawn on her core strengths of her skills and abilities: active listening and building rapport with a genuine desire to help people aspire to their full potential. Yvonne draws on over 25 years’ experience across the third, public and private sectors spent engaging, facilitating, coaching and training individuals and organisations.

Always in the back of her mind was the thought of building the experience to take the opportunity to set up her own business.

Mid Life Career Services emerged following Yvonne’s experience of redundancy when she realised that there was little quality, impartial careers guidance support available for someone who has a wealth of experience and qualifications. Mid Life Career Services provides programmes for personal career management to prepare for your next opportunity. These programmes can be delivered 1:1 or within groups, supported with a range of relevant materials, via online only in the current situation.

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Main image Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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Yvonne Owen-Newns