5+ careers in one life seems a lot of careers. Yet, the experts in career management tell us to expect to change careers often today.
Gone are the days when the career we entered in our early twenties was the only career we would experience. It is no longer unusual to change careers several times during a working life.
A lot of people ask what this means. They accept that people work longer and they move from career to career during their lives but they have no idea what this sort of working life looks like.
There are few real examples of how people have moved from career to career, in practice.
I have set out below how I have managed to move from career to career and from role to role. This is not the only way to manage career change but it is a real example.
Starting Out …
After graduation and teacher training I taught English Language and English Literature in schools. I then moved from teaching in schools to lecturing in a college. As a lecturer I taught English Language and English Literature. I also taught modern history and twentieth century World Affairs.
During my time as a college lecturer I studied for, and gained, a master’s degree in a management discipline.
I then became a senior lecturer and project manager in a different college. I introduced whole organisation training needs analyses for teaching staff, administrative staff and for catering and manual grades of staff.
Whilst in this role I gained my Institute Of Personnel Management qualifications. Some years later I became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
I chose to leave this college after three years in staff development and quality development. At this time I set up my first business.
From Contractor To Consultant
For several years I accepted contracts where I delivered the services, including setting up Investors In People Assessment Centres and writing and producing work guides and policy documents for Work-Life Balance Centres. I wrote and delivered management development programmes for new managers and updating programmes for senior staff in organisations.
I also wrote and delivered a whole series of programmes dealing with “soft” skills. Eventually I moved on to produce training programmes to be used by HR departments with their staff.
At this point in my career, I chose to deliver fewer training programmes myself preferring to run sessions with senior teams and troubleshooting problems in their organisations. As a consultant I also spent days in large businesses or local government departments identifying the problems they faced and offering them solutions. Since I was not looking to deliver the solutions myself, I was very popular with senior teams.
More recently, I focused almost exclusively on supporting individuals looking to advance their careers. I specialised in crafting LinkedIn profiles that presented people effectively to the world.
Much of my work was international. Clients from the Far East, from North America, from Europe and from the United Kingdom sought me out. I produced sparkling LinkedIn profiles, the aim of which was to help individuals to further their careers.
Two years ago I decided to stop fronting training, writing LinkedIn profiles and consulting in large public sector and private sector organisations. I decided to allocate more time to my e-book writing. I now help people to advance their careers via my e-books.
How many careers does that make?
The really important point is to note that all these career moves were made by me at times of my choosing.
If you want to change your career you can.
Re-skilling and reinventing yourself along the way helps.
Moving gradually from one career to another also helps and it often ensures that employment is continuous. That is, by the time you are ready to move, you have developed the skills you need.
Whatever you decide to do, having a destination in mind helps. For me, I wanted to run my own business and be free to keep learning. When I wanted to take a qualification or learn something new that I could not teach myself, I bought a relevant learning programme with money I had earned.
Along the way I have opened and run an NVQ management centre. I have run national marketing programmes for major international management consultancies.
These days I help professional people looking to advance their careers. I do this via my e-books.
Do you know what your long-term aim is?
Will you have 5+ careers or not?