My favourite career change tools!

My favourite career change tools!

I try to stay far away from DIY projects. I love to watch those TV shows where people take a house that is pretty much falling apart (or the back of a lorry or old boat) and transform it into a fabulous space to live in. But my clearest memories of building anything with wood and tools is being a child and discovering my father’s workbench. I was totally fascinated with building things. My dad was a fantastic carpenter - he would build things around our house - cupboards and drawers, and one day I decided to try my hand at making something. I took some of the end cuts, and decided to make a box. I spent days hammering and sawing, finding hinges and a latch, and the end result was… well - I don’t know if I would describe it as a box. It definitely had 5 enclosed walls and a lid, but despite my best efforts, the pieces were not the same size, some nails and screws weren’t put in straight and some stuck out the side of the box, one of the hinges wasn’t lined up with the edge of the lid (probably because it wasn’t straight sided) to name a few of the problems. Looking back on that experience, I can now think of exactly what tools I would have needed to have improved that box such as a template for the walls, or a guide to ensure that the screws are in straight. Of course, it has been a long time since I picked up a hammer or a drill. However, ever so often, the need arises to do something around the house - hang photos or art, attach a new loo seat - and when I am going to attempt any task (be it big or small), I am reminded how useful it is to have the right tools. While it is true that a good craftsman does not blame his tools, having the right tools for a job make it an easier and more straightforward process. It can remove some of the guesswork, and create a consistent end result - fit for its intended purpose.

This applies to household DIY, baking cakes (something I know a lot about) and even at work. This also applies when tackling our lives and careers. Having the right tools allows us to navigate career change and take the necessary actions to reach a career that brings us more satisfaction at work, allows us to work in our strengths, and have a career that fits in with our lives, priorities and values. As someone who has looked at career change from the inside, I can definitely say that there were a number of tools which I found not only useful but absolutely necessary in career change - that can be broadly divided into two categories. The first are mindset tools - those that get you mentally prepared for the task of career change - tackling the fears that come up as you consider moving from a career that you invested time and money into training for and working in, into something that feels unknown. And the second are the practical tools which help you get clear on your skills and strengths, and how you can best use them in your new career - a career that better fits in with your current life and priorities.

Over the next six blog posts, I am going to outline some of the tools that can help you as you get clarity about where you want to go to next in your career and how it will fit into your life. These tools are great for those who are simply thinking about starting something new, or to those who have bypassed the thinking stages, and are ready to jump into some action steps that will help you make changes to your existing career so that it better fits into your existing life (or a more desired lifestyle) or start something new.

And for those who think it’s too late to start again - read this - I wrote this during my blog series 39 lessons I learned before I turned 40 and it was one of my favourites - it is never too late to start again.

And to see an example of where I have mastered my favourite type of tools (for baking!) see the above photo! Tools used include a mixing bowl, piping bag and oodles of love!