Distance Learning Courses
The Blackford Centre
Changing your job
83% of people who visit our site want to change their job.
And 63% of our visitors want to run their own business.
Some want more time for their family or their children. Or they're looking for more flexibility in their work.
Others want to escape from a dull job, low income, a bad boss, or poor working conditions.
Should you change your job?
Unless you really dislike your job, you should probably stick with it. All of us find something to complain about in our current job. And any new job will have its drawbacks, too.
But if you're thinking of making a change, here are some guidelines about changing your job.
What is it is that you dislike about your job? Is it your boss, your colleagues, or the location? Is it the repetition, the lack of promotion, or the lack of responsibility? For example, if you dislike only the commuting, you could seek a similar job closer to home. But if you feel you're in the wrong career, think about changing your industry.
What do you want out of life? Some people would love to live by the coast and make jewelry. From that flows a number of other issues. Would you need to be self-employed? Is there a local demand? Would the demand be seasonal? Where would you you sell your products? Going through this process will help you decide whether it's a pleasant fantasy or a genuine goal.
If you decide to change career, what should the new job be? Here are some guidelines:-
Decide what your skills are. Are you good with people, with green plants, or with technology? Are you a creative person, or a whiz with figures?
Trust your intuition. What would a really close friend say to you?
Start with a clean slate. Don't simply accept the image of yourself as defined by your parents, your school or your friends. These views may limit you and hold you back.
What are your successes? Did you produce a great meal for lots of people recently (maybe you ought to be a caterer?) Or perhaps you excelled at track events? Could be there's a job for you in sports administration.
Think about a sideways move. your ideal job may be in a related industry. Among the interior designers we've trained are people who started out as a kitchen designer or an artist.
Make sure the new job is attainable. If you want to be a surgeon, you'll have to compete for a place in medical school and study for years, with no income coming in. So choose a job that's attainable. Here's another example. Lots of people want to be an author. But very few people get their novels published. And most of those who succeed don't make much money from their creative writing. One solution is to write in the evening - and maintain a daytime job that brings in the money. The daytime job might be one that involves writing, such as copywriting or writing for the web.
Don't take no for an answer. Don't be put off if someone tells you that the way into the industry is a four-year degree course. Many people slide almost by accident into the job they want.
Do research to find out how much demand there is for the job you want to do. Talk, if you can, to existing practitioners.
Visualise your future. Imagine yourself seven years hence, doing the job. Work out how you got to that position. What steps did you take to get there.
Do a course, to learn the skills of the practitioner.
Don't restrict yourself to the employment pages of your local newspaper. It could limit you. Look widely. Read magazines in the topics that interest you. Look outside your normal range of media.
Could you work for yourself?
A lot of people want to get a new career - but working for someone else.
For example, they want to learn the skills of an interior designer. And they expect to do this by working for another interior designer.
And we have to say to them, that's not the way to get a job.
They're one-man bands. And they rarely hire people. Every week people - often loaded with qualifications - knock on their door asking for a job. And if a job is available, there are sometimes hundreds of people wanting it. You'd get trampled underfoot in the rush.
In short, there are no intern-type jobs in the interesting, home-based jobs our courses focus on.
So the answer is - to work for yourself.
Now that frightens a lot of people. They're used to someone else taking care of them.
Sure, it's scary setting up on your own. But it may be the only way you'll get to work for yourself. And it's also exciting.
Could you be self employed?
1. You need to be a self-starter. That means knowing what jobs need to be done, and getting them done.
2. You need to be determined. You have to be motivated to work for yourself. Being half-hearted puts you at a disadvantage when the going gets tough (and it will).
3. You should have 12 months' income in the bank. If you don't have that, you should keep on the day job, and set up your own business on a part-time or hobby basis.
4. You need a positive or optimistic outlook on life. Negative thinking can discourage you from taking that first step. It can also make you give up too soon.
Don't say, "I'm a receptionist - that's who I am". Instead, say "I could be an entrepreneur, and run my own business."
Be aware of how you fit into a role defined for you by other people - your parents, your boss and your friends. Decide for yourself what role you will play in life.
Avoid people who put you down.
5. You need to be a good all-rounder. That includes keeping an eye of the finance, selling yourself, and doing the work. Maybe you have a partner who could complement your skills? Alternatively, hire get someone to do the jobs you hate. Play to your own strengths.
Finally, if the thought of self-employment makes you fearful at first, you'll be in good company. Many of the people who take our courses initially tell us, initially, that they're not sure if they could work for themselves. But by the end of the course, most of them are amazed how much more confident they feel.
So, the chances are that you, too, will feel yourself grow in stature during the course.
WOULD-BE ENTREPRENEURS WASTE SEVEN YEARS 'DREAMING'
Would-be entrepreneurs waste seven years dreaming about making a break and starting a business.
A new study reveals that four in five dream of doing something different, like turning their hobby into their job or starting a business.
But researchers for Business Link found that two in three people dither for at least five years - with 40 per cent sitting on their hands for over ten years - because they don't know how to take the first steps.
Business Link's Martin Wyn Griffith said: 'It's a seven-year itch that adds up to an awful waste of time, talent and ambition.'
Working from home
Nearly two thirds of our visitors - 61% - want to work from home. They've realised that by working for themselves they can:-
Fit their work around their other commitments, such as bringing up a family or caring for a relative. They want a more sensible work/life balance.
Be in charge of their life, rather than being told what to do every day. They want to work the hours of their choosing.
Have the chance to earn big money. There's a saying:
You'll never get rich,
digging another man's ditch
Not every self-employed person makes a lot of money. In fact, quite a few make less than before. But they all enjoy life more, they feel more confident, and have higher self-esteem.
We have some more thoughts about working from home. Click here to find out more.
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