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If you’re looking to make a career change, you’re probably having second, third and even fourth thoughts about what it is you want to do. While you feel stuck in a rut in your job, the thought of getting back on the hamster wheel of job searching, applying and interviewing is a daunting prospect. Not to mention the fact that you’re not sure you can face repeatedly being turned down.
So, what are the alternatives for a capable, qualified individual who just wants to put their skills to a different use? In this blog we explore how retraining might just be the answer you’re looking for to get you out of a rut and into a job that ticks all the boxes.
What’s Stopping You?
Probably the issue that prevents many people from leaving their work to retrain, the question of finances. Not just how you might afford the course fees but also how you’ll be able to live if you’re planning on studying full-time.
There are several solutions to this issue that will apply to you depending entirely on your individual circumstances. Firstly, there’s the savings plan. Simply setting aside money to see you through a year’s course while paying the bills and giving you enough to live on. Naturally, this requires a great deal of planning, commitment and patience and unfortunately won’t work for those on lower incomes.
Alternatively, you might look into part-time study. Depending on what you’re hoping to do, your local college or university might offer courses that run at weekends and the evenings for working students. Be prepared to tread a fine line between working and studying and feel like you have very little time to yourself as you’re pulled in several different directions at once, including your home life.
If you have time then something like a distance learning course, such as the Open University, is a great way of reducing your commute to lessons and the hours spent outside of your home. It might take longer but ultimately, you’ll be getting the same qualifications as everyone else and have studied around your lifestyle.
You might also find that some qualifications carry with them the chance to apply for bursaries or loans, particularly in fields where there is a national shortage. Teaching is a great example of this and you may even get paid for working while you’re writing essays on topics such as: What are sight words?
What To Expect
Starting again from scratch can be a difficult transition for some, while others take to it like a duck to water.
If you’re used to being in a position of authority and suddenly find yourself very much a beginner, that change in circumstance can prove frustrating. You’ll be sharing your space with other people who may be younger than you, who may be looking for their first job while you’ve had a whole other career that they know nothing about. Use your experience for the positive, look for ways to encourage your fellow students and keep yourself motivated.
As we talked about up post, one of the biggest challenges will be managing your timetable, especially if you are still working. You will find yourself, at times, exhausted mentally and physically and you may get to a point where you need to make some changes in order for your situation to be sustainable.
If you can reduce your hours in your workplace then try and get your boss on board with this, otherwise you might consider re-jigging your time so you perhaps work two long days and have a Friday off. Perhaps, instead you could work from home allowing you to ditch the daily commute, giving you the freedom to start and finish earlier.
At home too, if you have responsibilities towards a family then perhaps a partner or spouse is going to have to pick up more of the load, at least in the short-term. It might not be fair but if everyone is to get fed and the clothes washed, then taking up the slack is going to get things done and afford you time to finish off your assignments.
Then there’s the fact you will need the odd hour, the odd evening or afternoon to yourself, to simply do nothing except unwind and relax. It doesn’t seem important, but it really is. Although the actual time you’re studying is fairly short, it is intense and you do need to unplug your brain from your computer and your learning in order to make you a happier and ultimately more productive student. No one produces great work when they’re tired and stressed out, so go for a swim or a walk, watch a movie or play with the dog. Do anything that distracts you from the books for a few hours and leaves you feeling refreshed and on form for the next set of challenges.
No one said changing career or indeed your circumstances was going to be easy. In fact, it might just be the hardest decision you’ve ever made but if you’re feeling stuck and that your career is no longer right for you or giving you anything in the way of job satisfaction, then you need a change.
Yes, you could apply for hundreds of jobs and get rejected for all manner of different reasons, or you could get a similar job in your field fairly quickly but is that what you really want?
Going back into education might seem like a step backwards or it might seem like a risk you’re not sure you should take, but pursuing your dream is never too late. Take your time choosing a course and find the perfect solution for how and when you’re going to study that fits as neatly as it can into your lifestyle. Find out if you’re eligible for any bursaries or loans and take that step. You’ll never regret expanding your education and taking a chance on yourself. Invest time in what makes you happy and your future’s already looking bright.