Have you taken a personality test?

When I last interviewed for a job I was asked to take one and it unsettled me at the time. I didn’t get the job and part of my feedback was that my personality test didn’t quite reflect the traits required for the job (although I was reassured it said a lot of lovely things about me!).

Well, I now think they are a great thing because I felt relieved when I didn’t get that role, I knew the job wasn’t right for me, however, I persevered because I thought I ‘should’ be climbing the career ladder within my field.

When I didn’t get that job my whole world changed and eventually for the better and lead me to where I am today. However, I kind of wish I had worked all this out before putting myself through the stress of applying and interviewing for a job that I knew intuitively wasn’t right for me. I wish I had taken a step back and possibly taken a personality test myself!

Even though I think they should not be taken as fact, nor a magic ‘tell-all’, I think they are a great way to help you look at yourself objectively and I believe you can gain some great insights.

If you are feeling confused about what you want from your career, I encourage you to take one - they can spark thoughts and ideas!

When you subscribe with me, in my welcome email you’ll find a personality test (that I personally recommend - I did lots of research!) and I am gifting you a free call with me to discuss your results.

Subscribe here to take part and book your call.

Adult Struggles Podcast: Transitioning out of the 9-5

Transitioning out of the 9-5

Click to Listen: 
Apple Podcasts: adultstruggles.com/itunes 
Google Podcasts: adultstruggles.com/googleplay  
Spotify: adultstruggles.com/spotify 
iHeart Radio: adultstruggles.com/iheart
Podbean: adultstruggles.com/podbean
Overcast FM: adultstruggles.com/overcast
Stitcher: adultstruggles.com/stitcher

You’ll learn how to make your own Career Change

While it’s not an easy decision to leave job security behind, Rebecca’s advice and firsthand experience will help you realise that it’s all possible! We talk about the potential challenges of leaving the 9-5, how to build a financial safety net, and how to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

  • Signs that it’s time to move on from a job (even if it’s just to find another 9-5)

  • How to uncover your passion and build a career from it

  • The potential difficulties of leaving your job and how to avoid them

  • How to make the transition out of the 9-5 as smooth as possible

  • Not interested in leaving the 9-5? Learn how to make an industry change!

It's not me, it's you - 5 signs your work environment is the problem

Do you hate your job and are considering a whole new career? Wait, it might not be necessary, have you considered it could be your environment and workplace culture that you hate?

Do you find yourself complaining daily about your colleagues, boss and workplace politics? Do you often feel outraged? If so it’s likely that your workplace has become toxic, which can be harmful to your wellbeing. 

You may just need to rediscover your career (and workplace) values and change jobs! If you are struggling to define your values, you might find my Five Steps to Finding your Career Values workbook on my Resources page helpful.

To help you out, I’ve listed 5 signs below (I’m sure there are many more too):

  1. Detachment

    Does everyone seem miserable and appear to have given up? Nobody wants to take initiative and are only doing the bare minimum? It’s likely that hard work is not rewarded in this work place, so why bother? Feeling taken for granted and unappreciated will drain the passion and enthusiasm out of most people. Those who have the confidence to change jobs will leave quickly, leaving a lot who stick around for job security which can become the ‘collective’ mood.

  2. Illness

    Toxic work environments and stress cause sickness. Are you and you co-workers off sick a lot?

  3. Staff turnover is high

    It’s likely that they will be long-standing staff members who have got used to the toxic environment and accept it as ‘normal’, however new employees will come and go because they have experienced happier workplaces.

  4. Controlling management

    So many rules and regulations. Everything needs to be approved, so you are constantly held up and cannot get on with your work. These environments cause productivity and passion to plummet. Process is important, but it needs to work for the employees too.
    Or maybe you are being micromanaged? Whilst some may benefit from direct instruction, most people become disengaged when a manager is overbearing. It can make employees feel like they are not ‘good enough’, whilst having to constantly having prove themselves.

  5. Your work life balance is not respected.

    A good employer and manager will know the benefits gained by employees leaving on time and having a good work-life balance. Whilst some jobs do require long hours, the issue lies in unclear boundaries. For example, you are supposed to leave at 5pm, but your manager expects you to work longer and for free. It’s proven that if you are efficient in your working hours, staying longer isn’t productive. If you find yourself working outside your hours, cancelling plans and prioritise catching up on work email over your personal life, then I would question your workplace’s culture on work-life balance.

Why you don't need to quit your job today

If you know about what I do as a Career Change Coach, then you’ll know at some point I may support my clients to quit the job they hate! However, I want to discuss why you shouldn’t quit the job you hate - today. 

The internet is filled with quick fix solutions, quick loans and quick successes, however genuine coaching and the type of coaching I deliver involves a journey to create lasting change and definitely doesn’t give the false promise of ‘overnight success’. Do you know anyone who has had overnight success, in real life? People tend to be in a job they hate because of financial obligations and let’s face it, they are somewhat real. I would never encourage anyone to quit their job without a plan.

The steps below outline what you can do when you hate your job, but you’re not in a financial position to quit today.

Step 1: Get objective

Ever heard of a downwards spiral? Sometimes when you are stuck in a situation and are feeling all the emotions it is difficult to be objective. Experiencing these emotions can stop us from seeing the other options available to us. Have a conversation with yourself (either in your head, out loud or on paper) as if you are your own best friend giving yourself advice. Ask yourself important questions to get clear, such as why you want to quit your job; why you are still in your job and why you are not doing anything about it. With your objective mindset, ask yourself any other questions you need clarity on.

Step 2: Make the most of a bad situation

Some people might say you have to tolerate or quit a job you hate. Well I say you can make it more bearable - for now. I suggest writing down a list of the things you like or love about your job, whether it’s your lunch break or engaging with clients and apply more of your attention and appreciation there.

Write a list down of the things you dislike or hate. With your objective mind, question what you could do to make it more bearable in the short-term. These are a few examples: 

  • Hate your commute? Talk to your manager about changing your hours to avoid peak times and working from home one day a week. Can your commute time be more enjoyable by listening to your favourite podcast or inspirational book? 

  • Don’t get on with your manager? Talk to HR about reporting to someone else. 

  • Always working late? Set yourself boundaries and stick to your contracted working hours. A recent study of 65,000 U.S. employees found out exactly how unproductive overtime work is, proving that the more people work, the less productive they become. In other words, staying after work hours is practically useless!

  • Is there an office bully? Take control of the situation, ask to move away from them, inform your manager and HR. Start to document incidents and only use email to communicate where possible.

  • Are you really bored? Apply mindfulness in your work, so you are focussing on the task at hand rather than focussing on the boredom. Use your current work to get clear on what you don’t like and focus on how you spend your time outside of work, you could sign up for evening classes or events.

Lastly, buy a desk plant! Always a winner to cheering up a workspace in my opinion.

Step 3: Work on your mindset

The next step will be shifting your mindset to one geared up for success! For example, if you are constantly thinking how awful your dead end job is, maybe you can shift this thinking to: my job provides me financial stability whilst I look for another job, or my job pays for my passion project until I make a living from it.  Shifting your mindset is a great way to lift your energy and attract more opportunities your way. Examine your thoughts, what are you telling yourself?  

Step 4: Take your next best step

Imagine you are feeling more objective, have made your work life much more bearable and have a positive mindset; now you are ready to start taking steps towards your dream career. 

Want to do something different? Start your research, enrol on to a course or start applying for new roles. 

Got a business idea? Start researching the problem you want to solve for others and the ways you can serve. 

Struggling with your next best step?

A great way to figure this out is by defining your personal career values. Take a look at my Career Change Workbook on my resources page to help you on your way. 

Follow these 4 rules to follow through on your goals

Number 1: Seek pleasure

The way we phrase our goals is so important. If they are not positive then all they do is instil dread in us and so no wonder we don’t achieve them. For example, think about the goal ‘to lose weight’ and then think about the goal ‘to feel great in my body’. Which one is likely to help make the better choices when it come to diet and exercise?

It’s important not to set goals based on what you don’t want in your career. Setting a goal based on doing the job of your dreams, compared to setting a goal to quit the job you hate, will be so much more productive in taking you on the journey to get there. This way you are seeking your pleasure and future, not focussing on the very thing you don’t want. When you set a goal, ask yourself - am I seeking pleasure? 

Number 2: Tell your friends

For a long time I had all these ideas in my head of what I wanted to do, however I never told anyone! Eventually, I made a commitment to be open and tell friends and family, and once I did, it was out there and the accountability hit me - I actually had to try and make my ideas a reality now! So simple, but it worked so well in moving me forwards! The best thing was when I started to self-sabotage myself, I had friends to talk to, whereas before it was just me and my inner critic. 

Number 3: Keep it in view, literally 

I love writing things down, which is the first thing you could do when setting your goal. Writing it down gives your goal a physical presence, something you can hold and see. However, that’s no good if it’s in a note book in your bottom draw. So stick it somewhere visible where you can see it everyday, this is a great reminder of what you are working towards and there is no way it can get forgotten about.

Number 4: Take one step at a time

We live in a world of false promises and stories about overnight success; how to gain 1 million followers and how you can make 100k in one day. My point is, there is a tendency to want to achieve what we want straight away because we think everyone else has, however taking small steps and consistent action is the key to achieving big! Overwhelm is something a lot of us suffer from, including myself. By trying to do everything at once or too much, overwhelm will strike and you’ll likely end up achieving nothing. So avoid this by taking your next best step that will lead to the bigger picture!

How to write a career change CV

Isn’t it great a feeling when you are filling out an application form for a job you really want and you can tick, tick, tick your way down the person specification list? Unfortunately, if you want to change careers, no matter how exciting the job feels and no matter how much you know you’d be great, that person specification has just killed your dream before you even got started.

Or has it?

Did you know that statistics tell us how men apply for a job when they only meet 60% of the qualifications required, however women only apply if they meet 100%? 100%! I know it to be true too, because looking back to past job applications, if I didn’t meet ALL the requirements, even if I met 90% I thought, well ‘what’s the point? I’m not what they are looking for’, whilst a man with 60% of the requirements possibly went on to get my dream job!

It proves that it is possible to change careers and not necessarily meet all of the qualifications, we just need to feel confident about applying!

To help boost your confidence when applying for a job that doesn’t necessarily reflect your employment history and experience, I have put together my top tips for your career change CV:

  1. Write a powerful personal statement… 
    This will sit right at the top and only needs to be a short paragraph. State what you currently do, what your career aspirations are and what skills and experience you have to offer. If you need to use the word ‘transferable’ then use it, most skills are!

  2. Clearly outline your key skills… 
    I would suggest 4-6 that are relevant to the job you are applying for. This way the recruiter knows you have the core skills, even if your experience may not obviously reflect that. I suggest a bold headline, with a bullet points describing how you gained the skill and an example of an achievement.

  3. Your employment history… 
    People often make the mistake of listing everything. It’s not necessary to go back to when you once worked in a bar and developed excellent communication skills with party people. If it’s not relevant, ditch it! Don’t worry about gaps on your CV, from my experience this won’t put people off; they might ask you about it, in which you can tell them. Consider your employment history as a ‘need to know basis’, what do they need to know about you? What role helped you to use/develop the skills they are looking for? Don’t just stick to paid positions, voluntary roles and internships, as long they are relevant are appropriate here.
    Tip: list in a clear format and include your job title, the company, from and to dates, a description of the relevant responsibilities you held and your achievements in that role.

  4. Your education… 
    My advice would be, if you graduated from university 8+ years ago, there’s no need to go back any further. Your A-Levels are not really going to be the selling point when you have 8 years of work experience; it’s a waste of precious space (more on that below). However, if you feel that it’s still useful to list your A-Levels etc, then go ahead!
    A tip for my younger audience: you can leave out the dates here. Unfortunately we live in a society where age may be used against you. By leaving out the dates, employers cannot (potentially) discriminate you on your age. Just include your degree name and grade, along with your university.

  5. Simply write ‘References on request’…
    This way it doesn’t take up much space and do you really want to run the risk of an enthusiastic recruiter contacting your boss who doesn’t know about your job search yet? 

Other things to consider:

  • Leave out your hobbies. As lovely as it is you won’t get hired for your morning yoga practice or your love of keeping up with current affairs. However, if your yoga practice is relevant to the job you are applying for or your semi-fluent Spanish will be useful, include it in your key skills. If it’s not important enough to list there, leave it out.

  • Keep to 1 page, which forces you to be precise and concise. I know the advice often given is 2 pages, however evidence shows how the human attention span is now at 8 seconds. You have 8 seconds to impress!

  • Use a simple and easy to read text like Arial.

  • You can be creative in your CV, as long as it’s clear (in no way distracting from all the amazing info about you). Canva is a great free tools that provides lots of templates for free, however be careful of making your CV look ‘busy’ and make sure it is print friendly (no background images etc). 

I have a template for a career change CV, do get in touch if you would like a copy.