To be honest, I have never really thought that I have a career, don’t I just have a Job?
I need to add a quick disclaimer just before I continue.
Should my boss read this blog post, which to be honest is highly unlikely, I am not saying that I hate my job, that it is boring or that I want to quit…
Ever since I started work many years ago I was thrown in at the deep end shall we say. I had no choice but to think on my feet from my very first day. Maybe one day I will write a blog post about my experiences at work as they were not conventional at all. In fact, it may well shock some. Because of this, I have always had a hunger to learn. It’s a shame that I didn’t have the same enthusiasm for my education whilst at school!
When I left school a career was something that wasn’t really encouraged. You left school and got a job and that was that.
On several occasions, I have come up with ideas, and have even written the odd business plan.
Yet I have never followed them through. One reason I suppose has been my financial situation. Being a single parent didn’t really help. And there was no option but to ensure my day job supported my daughter and myself sufficiently. As I was the one who paid the mortgage and put food on the table, so there was no way I could mess that up.
Move on 20 years and I could sometimes kick myself for not stepping out in faith. However, like all things in life I can quite honestly say that I am grateful for the way my life has turned out and that everything really does happen for a reason.
So I am going to let you into a little secret and fill you in on a couple of ideas I have had over the years.
When my daughter was around a month old I found myself with no real income. My career prospects were not the best, and I was working for very little. The reason was that my boss at the time was in prison. (See I told you there are stories to be told) Being at home with a small child and trying to gain an income from various other sources got me thinking about all of those tasks that we spend our time doing that maybe someone else could do for us.
For example, taking down the curtains and getting them dry cleaned, then, of course, re-hanging them. I called that Company Gofers… Little did I know that later on in my career I would become one, yet I would rather label that position Private Assistant. 🙂
Now look at the large flat pack company called Ikea, and what have Ikea recently introduced, yes Task Rabbit! Task Rabbit if you didn’t know to assist in the general assembly of flat pack furniture. I bet though in a few years time this concept will be everywhere.
Next came a slightly different type of company. This was brainstormed between myself and a colleague. And that was TLC or The Love Center. Now you may well say the market is flooded with Dating Apps, and yes you are right.
But this idea was put together before Smart Phones even existed.
It was at the time when sites such as Match.com were becoming popular. So Becki and I thought it would be a good idea to have a text dating site. We even put together the launch idea and a marketing plan.
The ideas were there, but the guts and finances were not.
So how could I and how could you step out of your comfort zone and move career?
For example, if you love fashion and styling clothes, and your dream job would be to work in retail. Yet you have never worked in retail and I have no experience in retail. Maybe you could start volunteering in say a charity shop. A couple of hours a week even. Get involved in putting together window displays.
Maybe even start an Instagram account showcasing all of the outfits you have put together.
Then ask if you can organise a fashion show and gather a few of your friends around as models and put together a charity evening. (That’s given me a good idea) There you are already gaining experience in Retail and Event Organisation. And you never know you may just love it that much that you want to continue volunteering.
Use Linkedin to your advantage
So many of us are on LinkedIn yet we do nothing with it. Grow your network, but also reach out to other organisations that you are interested in working for. I am sure if you asked for advice on what kind of skills they would require and if they can point you in the right direction as to training etc they would be willing to advise. Some companies may even offer in-house training that you would not be aware of unless you asked the question in the first place.
I for one believe that the brain stays young through learning new skills. Whether that be a skill that you can implement in your current job or a skill to use in another area. For example, I am very interested in Health and Wellbeing.
Having an Autoimmune disorder means that I am constantly looking for ways in which to improve this disease. So I decided to do a distance learning qualification in Advanced Nutrition. You know you could even start your own blog. Which could be about anything from Gardening to Knitting.
Take your Hobby to another Level
Say you enjoy decorating, dressmaking, gardening why not turn that into a business. They say that if you love your job it is never a job. Maybe offer your services to a friend in need, and post a few photographs on Facebook of the work you have done. It’s pretty easy then to get that shared.
If you love your job but your just a little bored
Then do something about it. You don’t have to leave where you are currently working just because you have become a little stagnant. Maybe look at ways in which you think the company could improve within the department you are in, or even in general. Put your idea’s down on paper and then present them.
There is nothing better than getting excited about change where you are currently at.
I have done this all of my working life. Not only does it improve the way my employer works but it also means that I get involved in a vast variety of area’s (Hence my previous term Gofer) Rally round a few of your co-workers and ask them for idea’s on how things could improve, put together a plan of action and propose that. If you have other members of staff on your side surely your Employer will take note.
If they don’t and your feeling a little disheartened then maybe the grass would be greener on the other side!
There is plenty of information online, and never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Let’s face it we are at work the majority of our lives, so don’t waste that time doing something you hate. That really is soul destroying. Should finances be an issue maybe do more than one job. Who says you have to work 9-5 at one company. Why can’t you have two or three jobs, doing three different things?
And if you fancy going to work in another country then why can’t you rent your house out for a period of time and do just that? (That’s is if you have no commitments as such)
One word of advice though, remember that your CV is no longer the only piece of information a prospective employer will take note of. Social media gives so much more in the way of background information. Don’t let your Facebook page ruin your opportunities. It is a reflection of you as a person. People can decide what your personality and your personal life are like just from a few Status updates and photographs. So don’t let that let you down.
Let me know your thoughts, or if you have changed career, or intend to in the future. I would love to hear from you.
xx Sarah xx
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