As career specialists we often get asked to take part in career clinics and online advice panels. We have put together a series of blogs to share some of the challenges that others have faced and our thoughts and suggestions to help them move forwards...
I have an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies and a BA in English and Fine Arts. To go along with this, I also have monstrous student loans.
I am currently doing work at a university in the North East. The atmosphere is oppressive, the work unsatisfying and my manager is horrible. I have been trying to get out but am not sure what sort of jobs I can apply for. What other sectors could I take a look at? I'm open to a change of direction, but am not sure where my qualifications can take me...
Firstly, thank you and also well done for coming here today and sharing your dilemma with us. What is sometimes the hardest step in these situations is to acknowledge that we are unhappy where we are and that we are ready to take action and do something about it. For you, it sounds like there will be some challenges ahead but you have already made a great step forwards in identifying what they are and in showing a real desire to move forwards.
When we work one on one with people, it is often their career options that they are unsure about. People know that they don’t want to stay where they are and that they must have built up some sort of skill set – but the question is always around “what can I do?”, “where can go with this?”, “what are my career options?”. The way we tackle this is by spending quite a bit of time going back to your roots to understand as much as we can about you. This is what I’d encourage you to think about.
For example – what have you done in your career so far? What have your experiences been like – what did you enjoy / not enjoy? What did you do well / not so well? What did you excel at and find easy to do? These questions will hopefully start to get you thinking about the skills you have built up and the strengths that you have. Build up a strong a picture as you can about who you are, what you are about and hence what you can do as a resource and asset to a future employer.
Then once you’ve fully understood what you have to offer a company and in a role – you can start brainstorming what types of jobs/sectors/industries might be interesting to you. There are a whole range of options and opportunities available to you. However, in order to be able to brainstorm this effectively and in a way where it matches your specific skills – you need to get as clear as you can about what it is that you can do and can do well. Rather than thinking about what you lack or about re-training – I’d suggest you take the time to establish what it is that you have already done – both inside and outside of work . Then build a story around this and focus on where this set of unique skills can take you.
More advice and articles on changing careers: