In a recent post we introduced you to two of our clients - Jeremy and Maria Heffer through an article called “Career and Retirement Solutions for Everyone”. In this and subsequent posts, they will share various case studies to illustrate how their business can support people at different stages of their career. In this edition, Maria shares her own career experience and why she decided to make a big career change in her mid-thirties.
Case Study 1 – Career exploration
I studied Economics at University, subsequently qualified as a Management Accountant and then worked in Corporate Finance for thirteen years before realising that I was in the wrong job. The unfortunate fact is that I am far from alone. Studies that have been conducted in the UK suggest that a very high percentage of British workers feel that they are in jobs, which don’t suit them or which they simply don’t enjoy.
So why does this happen and what can be done about it?
People often report situations that mirror my own experience, i.e. inadequate careers advice and work experience opportunities whilst attending school, and an education system that fails to prepare students for a lifetime of work.
The good news is that not everyone needs to spend thirteen years like me before finding a job that better fits their skills, aptitudes and aspirations. There are now tools and tests available that can be used to help guide our career choices.
In my case, I was fortunate to have been offered by my employer at the time, access to a well established psychometric test to find out what kind of job I was really cut out for. The results revealed that I would be better suited to a career as an HR professional or management consultant. Interestingly enough, I had already started that career transition without fully understanding the reasons why. As a management accountant, I found that I was constantly drawn to working with people and was less attracted to the more technical aspects of my work. What I had discovered was an outlet for my skills and aspirations through training other accountants. However, armed with the results of the psychometric test, I made a conscious decision to actually switch careers and move from Finance into the HR profession. I was also grateful to work for a company that was willing to support this move internally.
Despite this positive outcome, I couldn’t help thinking about the number of years that I had spent working hard to pass my professional accountancy exams, and how that time would have been better spent building a different career. Fortunately, there is far more careers help available today. It’s more a question of knowing what is available, how to use it and finding a career professional who can help you interpret the results and guide you through the process.
If you or somebody in your family or network of friends is struggling to choose a career direction, particularly young adults, or feels that they are in the wrong job and would like to consider a career change, please get in touch with us. We can provide a link to some career assessment tools to help you explore your skills, interests and motivations with a level of objectivity and structure to help guide you through the steps for making a positive career selection or change.
Maria and Jeremy Heffer
Career Management Consultants
Mobile: 07786 668278