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Your career journey: Why change is the new normal and how to approach this

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

In the past, career paths were simple. After finding your first job, you’d stay within the same company or industry progressing onwards and upwards. Today, this kind of predictability is long gone, but there are many positives to this – the ability to change track can be incredibly beneficial. Over the last 20 years, the number of companies people work for in the five years after they graduate has nearly doubled meaning that swapping jobs or careers has become the new normal. So, what does it mean for you as an Employee? And how can you make the most of a flexible job market?

Switching roles can help you advance

The main reason people change jobs is career advancement – that’s according to LinkedIn. If this is a key concern for you, and you can’t see a way forward in your current company, looking for a new role could help you step up in responsibility, as well as benefit from increased pay and the opportunity to learn new skills. There are many companies looking for ambitious Employees, with the desire to continuously improve. While it’s important to be loyal, remember that employment is a two-way street – your commitment in work should be reflected in the opportunities you’re given within the office. Changing jobs is no longer frowned upon, so, if you’ve hit a dead end, take stock and consider moving on.

Being happy at work increases productivity

Happiness in the workplace can lead to a 12 per cent spike in productivity. When you’re feeling positive, you’ll do your best work, which is why finding the right environment is incredibly important. A worldwide study from Gallup found that only 13 per cent of Employees are engaged at work – something which you’ll want to avoid if you’re looking to gain experience, demonstrate your skills and get ahead in your career. Of course, Employers are looking for tenacity, including the ability to face tough challenges. However, if you feel unsupported in your office, changing roles could offer the fresh breath of air you need. Don’t be afraid to search for a company with the right culture which truly fulfils you.

The gig economy is booming

Many of us are now familiar with the term gig economy, used to describe a growing trend towards Employers’ use of Temporary staff, from Employees on short-term contracts to freelance workers. With an estimated 1.1 million freelancers in the UK, this type of employment is certainly on the rise. At Allen Associates, we run a very successful  Temps desk offering many exciting opportunities. Now more than ever, people are recognising that you don’t need a full-time permanent position to excel. In fact, if you want to build up your experience quickly, taking on a succession of Temporary positions can be the ideal way. Not all work is permanent and if you enjoy taking on new challenges, this could be the perfect option for you.

Change track to follow your passion

As cheesy as it sounds, life is a journey and sometimes it’s only once you’ve started on one pathway that you discover what you really want to do. The good news is that now, more than ever, it’s possible to change direction. Employers, who are facing a talent shortage, are increasingly focusing on transferable skills. To fill vacancies, they’re looking for attributes like leadership, organisation and problem-solving to help identify talented Candidates who can learn on the job. Developing these qualities wills stand you in good stead for a future-proof, flexible career. After all, some of the most successful people are those who have decided to take a risk and alter their course. 

Find a work-life balance by swapping roles

A recent survey of more than 2,000 working fathers in the UK found nearly 40 per cent had asked for a change in working hours to enable them to spend more time with their children. Whatever your needs, whether it’s parenting, caring for a relative or looking after your own wellbeing, swapping roles can help you achieve this. Career trajectories can take many forms, and they don’t always need to take an upwards path. The most important thing is that you’re able to explain your reasonings to any future Employer, so whether you’re looking for a career break or a sideways move, find a company which takes Employee care seriously and can offer you a position which suits you at your current time of life.

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