Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Successfully Changing Your Career

Successfully Changing Your Career

Hey everyone. How are you doing? Me? I’m loving the sunshine I have to be honest – sometimes it’s a bit too hot for me to stay outside for too long without shade, but I wouldn’t trade the sunshine for rain.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about successfully changing your career because this actually is really relevant to my journey. If you’ve been following any of my posts, you may already know that I’m a mature student and coming to University College Birmingham for me has been a stepping stone to changing my career.

People change careers for different reasons – you may no longer enjoy the field you’re working in, interests, values and career goals may look different from when you first started out, you may want to increase your pay scale or need more flexibility in your working pattern.

In her book Becoming, Michelle Obama writes: “Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”

I think a lot of us can probably recall being asked the question as a child “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and it seems like a question that resonates throughout generations – we might even ask our own children or others the same question.

The point I’m making is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing careers because sometimes, there’s different reasons for different seasons and guess what – that’s okay.

So a bit more about me. I worked in the IT industry for about 7-8 years before having my first child and shortly after, redundancy hit and I was forced out of my comfort zone. I was afraid of the uncertainty at the time but it so happened that I landed a temporary role in my dream job as a marketeer (working in marketing for an international retailer – it doesn’t get much better!).

After having my second child, I took a period of time out of work and enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom. I thought long and hard about my career direction and decided that (as much as I enjoyed chasing down success in my work), at that time in my life, returning to work meant that I needed a role that was going to support a healthy work-life balance.

I talked to personal contacts that already worked in the field that I was considering, I made a few phone calls and volunteered a few hours each week, and then began my search for educational opportunities that would bridge the gaps to my new field of work. Eventually, I started an evening course at University College Birmingham and haven’t looked back (yet) – hehe.

When I initially set out my career goals, I didn’t have an alternative in mind as I was always so sure (about everything). But actually, when it came down to it, switching lanes, starting a career in a completely new field, was exciting and extremely fulfilling.

There’s nothing wrong with having a clear vision for your career but if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re considering an alternative career path/direction, for whatever reason, just know that changing careers can be done successfully.

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” – Michelle Obama

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend.



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