The festive season is nearly upon us and as we enjoy the end of one year and the beginning of another, many people reflect on their lives and careers and ask themselves are they happy?
The New Year is the impetus that many people need to start addressing where they’re at and ask, have they achieved what they thought they would have by this point in their lives. Quite often the answer is no, says CV Guru Adrian Caffery.
Adrian is a qualified career adviser who runs a CV writing business and often gets a rush of enquiries around the Christmas and New Year holidays as people realise another year has gone by and they’re not doing what they want to do with their lives or careers.
“Lives and careers are interchangeable words to careers advisers” says Adrian, “ We are often defined by our careers. At a party or when we meet new people, we’re often asked what do we do and for some people this question can cause them to feel shame or embarrassment, when they have to admit to a career that they’re not proud of. If you feel this way, then it’s time you started to do something about it. It’s never too late. After all most people have several careers throughout their lifetime and it’s not something that is frowned upon these days. ”
But changing career is not as simple as that. Adrian always advises people to honestly ask themselves what is it that they want to do, are their aspirations realistic and achievable, and what do they need to do in order to start to make that change.
“ Quite often people expect a careers adviser to wave a magic wand and give people golden nuggets of advice that will change their career immediately. The truth is that it is a long, slow process, especially if you want to re-train to become a professional of one kind or another. It will quite often involve going back to college or university and getting a degree or post-graduate degree, or if you want to re-train as a plumber for instance, getting the qualifications and experience required to be able to pursue that career successfully. Most people will probably have to do this studying whilst still working in their existing job or career and juggle the two for a few years until they’re able to make the leap ”, says Adrian.
There is help out there for people who want to change careers including financial assistance such as the new government post-graduate loan scheme, which is run through Student Finance England and operates in a similar way to the undergraduate student loan scheme but at slightly better conditions. Graduates can apply for a loan of just over £10,000 to pay towards a Masters degree and only pay back 6% of anything they earn over £21,000 per year once they’ve finished their studies. This is better than undergraduates who have to pay 9% of anything they earn over £21,000 per year. The interest rates for both are similar.
There are also such schemes as Career Development Loans where people can apply to help fund their studies such as plumbing or hair-dressing training etc.
There is also free careers advise for people of all ages from the National Careers Service.