Work’s Been My Saving Grace, But It’s Time For A Change

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

It’s safe to say the last 12 months have not been easy for people. With so much in our lives being outside of our control, often our work has proven to be a saving grace.

While many people have battled through redundancy and furlough schemes since last March, for many others work has provided an outlet to keep the mind active.

With such a focus on work, whether in the office, on site, or at home, it has led many people to explore whether they enjoy their job. For some this will be a reaffirmation of the correct career choice, but for others that will result in an eye-opening, and sometimes scary realisation that actually, they are in the wrong job.

Aviva’s ‘How we live’ report found that this past year for many has led to a time of reflection with many people having a change of focus or change of career.  People aged 25 – 34 are amongst the most likely to want to retrain or change career in the next 12 months (8%) second only to the 34-45 age group at 10%.

Traditionally, changing jobs has been a huge no-no, but with many asking the question on ‘how’ to make a career change, colleges like Newcastle College offering a vast number of foundation degrees, apprenticeships, and adult study courses, show it’s never too late to retrain.

New Skills from lockdown

Whether you feel unable to progress further in your current role or would like to challenge yourself by putting your skills to the test in a new setting, you may be considering a career change for many different reasons.

Switching careers is a decision that should not be taken lightly, it can massively change your lifestyle and routine – but may also be the most rewarding thing you could do. A recent study by NTT DATA UK showed that 51% of furloughed employees are considering a career change, with 13% of respondents actively reskilling to change career. With life beginning to resume, this may be the best time to search your options.

Through lockdown, many have found that their true passion lies elsewhere and plan to turn these pastimes into a commercial venture. Almost half the nation’s adults have taken up new hobbies since last year with baking, walking and gardening topping the list; Six percent of hobbyist’s intent to transform their interest into a career – equating to just over 2 million workers.

Apprenticeships offer best of both routes to career success and the pandemic has led to a shift in thinking for career development as more individuals find a new reliance on technology and virtual meetings. They are also a great way to do on the job learning and help you gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in your chosen industry.

Making the Change

A survey by PensionBee last year found that 25% of people felt that their job had equipped them with the tools that they could transfer to other sectors with the main obstacle for change being the ‘fear of the unknown’. What’s important to remember is that it’s never too late to make the change – in fact, having life experience behind you when heading back into education can work to your advantage.

The key question to consider is whether to stick with the traditional bachelor’s degree, or look at foundation degrees which can open the same door. Flexible study is one of the key benefits of most foundation degrees offer as courses permit learners to enter full- or part-time study, allowing those with work or family commitments to complete the course. Foundation degrees offer a simple way to complete the first two years of a Level 4 or 5 qualification without needing to commit to three years or more of study, a bonus when you consider many employees are targeting a workforce with skills at those higher levels.

As the roadmap out of lockdown continues its clear after this time of reflection that many will be looking to take new routes. Whether that be through following your passion or undertaking further research to help discover what your passion is, higher education has available options for you to succeed. Ensure to do you research or always reach out if you need support or advice along the way, all you need to do is ask.