Are you tired of trawling job posts and not finding anything that’s of interest? Or when you do it’s in the wrong place, or it’s the wrong hours, or it’s too low level?
You’re looking for something which is high level enough to interest you but not so high level that it’s going to demand so much of you, because as much as you love working you also want to be around your family. So something ideally with hours between nine and two so you can make the school run? Sound familiar?
Let’s be honest. There aren’t many of these jobs out there, well at least not on the surface. That’s why we’ve seen a big jump in women leaving employed roles and starting their own businesses over the last 4 years* as workplaces become less appealing to women and working mothers due to inflexible hours, lack of professional hubs outside of London and lack of career progression after women start having children.
So starting a business seems to be the ultimate option for putting you back in control and giving you the hours, location and scope for what many women need. Obviously starting a business is a front runner for many women who want to take back the control in their career, but what if you don’t want to start a business? What if you don’t want to take on the responsibility, have the drive, passion or ideas to start a business? It’s not for everybody. What are other other options out there for you?
Let’s have a look at a few more of the options out there in a bit more detail to see how you can get more control over your career.
- Start your own business
Often starting your own business is the ultimate way to gain back control over your working hours, working decisions and working structure. It also enables you to develop your vision of where you want your career and work to go, so offers development opportunities too. However, it doesn’t necessarily make it an easy choice because at the end of the day having control over when you work is often pitted against having to build a business which takes time and effort in the first place. So, to some extent, it can feel like you’re jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. But for those who have an entrepreneurialoutlook and the drive, vision and appetite to take a leap and so something that maybe they’ve never done before, or do something they already love in a different way, it can be an amazing option.
- Freelancing or Consultancy
Depending on where you’re at in your career, freelancing or consultancy can be a great way to do a job you already love on your terms. If you’re mid-career and have a proven body of work behind you that you can showcase to existing or created contacts it can be a great way of continuing to work as an expert in your field and keep a hold of and develop the experience you have acquired over the years while you share your focus with other important things in your life, such as raising a family. Having or creating a strong professional network can be the key to keeping work consistent so thinking ahead before you embark on this kind of work can be invaluable.
- Redesign your current role
When women come to me and say that they want to career change they don’t always go on to make career changes as such. Sometimes it can come out in the course of our of extended sessions together that in reality they don’t actually want to change their job, they like what they do, they like where they work and they like who they work with. It’s other factors that are causing them not to enjoy the role. So for example, it could be that they’re getting too much of something and feeling overwhelmed, or they’re not being developed enough, or it’s something going on at home that’s putting them out of balance and out of alignment with their job. So it could just be a bit of a bit of a tweak that’s needed for that role to really start to work for them. It may be time to redesign that role. To do this it’s really about understanding what will work for you and what will work for your employer and putting together a clear proposal of how you see the role playing out. So, it could be about re-drafting your job description, speaking with your manager about possible lateral or upward movements or a flexible working proposal.
- Develop a portfolio career
Now this is somewhere between a career redesign and self-employed option. Often, this is a choice for people who, who really don’t want to pigeonhole themselves into one role or another. One area and have maybe multiple interests that they like to keep hold of it also is is is an option that a lot of working parents use as they transition themselves into into other more flexible roles either to go into another form of employment or retrain or to take themselves into their own business, but without making such a drastic jump. So this can work really well, either as a transition, or as a career choice, where you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket and committed fully to a role so that gives you that kind of level of flexibility to play around with how you earn your money, and how you develop your interests.
- Pitch to your ideal employer
Maybe you you’re in a position where you’ve reached the end of the road with your current role, but you want to continue in your field and work in a more specific way with a targeted employer. This would be when you may want to pitch yourself. So rather than search for your ideal job, you create your ideal job description and seek out the ideal organisation in which to do it. The key to a successful pitch approach is to identify the real needs of your ideal employer, get a good understanding of what they do and matching your skills and experience to fulfil an identified gap.
So next time that you scroll through endless jobs listings and you feel like you’re hitting a wall, get clear about what you want and take a different approach. Put yourself back in charge and take control of your career.
Career and Life Vision Coach
Helping career-focused women aim high, build a fulfilling career and lead a balanced life.
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