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Tuesday 3 October 2006 11.44pm
After having been on a major career track in finance and now just being "a finance conultant" is that if you feel it's time for a change, take your time but go for it. Not much help in itself though. You'll have to sit down and think about what you would like to do first.

Then talk to a lot of people and see if you can still justify your desired change to yourself.

Why do you want to change??
Wednesday 4 October 2006 10.04am
can you afford to change? most people don't change because they think that they can't afford the time, not working, whilst changing, mortgage repayments, bills, etc.

it's a tough decision, but if you're not happy where you are, or even very unhappy, and unfulfilled, then a change is almost certainly a good idea.

make a plan write down;
what you currently do
what you can do
what you like doing
what you're good at
(these could all be different)

then list the skills needed to do those things

then you have a list of skills that you have
you can rate these, either in order of how good at each you are, or how confident at each, or how much of each you have

then try and fit job descriptions to the top few skills from your list.

as i said earlier - create a skills based CV, basically a few paragraphs explaining all the skills you have, what they show about you, what you can do well (with explicit examples if poss - better to say 'sales increased by 10% after implementation of my ideas x,y,z' than 'my ideas increased sales'), etc, and then have a single line for each previous job - title and company probably enough, as you've already explained where your skills are, and if you're applying for things which are different to currently, prospective employees won't be that interested in what you did where, but what you can bring to them (skills, experience, etc)

Good luck with all this, hope it all helps!
Wednesday 4 October 2006 5.44pm
Ivanhoe,

I thought you wanted to be a cider maker...

Seriously, I took a five year career break, and so needed to work out how to get back into the workplace.

By chance the accountancy institute I belong to offered an hour's free consultation with Chiumento Consulting Group if you were unemployed. I took this up in order to get a professional CV written, but found the process of seeing what an outsider thought were marketable skills and experience very valuable. (And good for my self confidence.)

I then booked a second hour to discuss my ideas on what I wanted to do and how to job search. It cost around 70 about five years ago. The two hours were really useful though I am glad I booked specific hours to cover specific things and had already done a lot of thinking in advance.

(I then made a few cold calls to potential employers and got a job, with family friendly hours, on my second call.)
Wednesday 4 October 2006 6.15pm
Thanks all of you. I'm deep in thinking at the moment, but your comments are very helpful and I'll no doubt be able to talk more sensibly after a bit of head-scratching.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 4 October 2006 11.54pm
All, maybe it would be good for Ivanhoe (and everyone) if people could give examples of what they do for a living. Sometimes you can feel really constrained in terms of career because you only know what you and people around you do - it often takes a curve ball suggestion to make you think: "yes - I would like to look at that". I am in a similar situation after falling into my job a few years ago - so would appreciate it for me too. Most of my friend's are lawyers / accountants or in admin.
Thursday 5 October 2006 9.02am
Sounds like a good idea to me, you never know where inspiration comes from. To kick off:

I work as a self employed consultant in financial risk management. In addition to that I am:

* writing a weekly column for one of the freebee weekly papers which I am doing free of charge to get experience in that field

* undertaking research in finance with some weird specialisation that I won't bore anyone with

* working on a committee that designs and fine-tunes the curriculum of a professional designation
Thursday 5 October 2006 11.07am
ok - Ivanhoe, here's the first paragraph from my CV:

GIS and mapping officer with eight years experience of data capture, and data manipulation for Mouchel Parkman, English Heritage, and Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Accuracy and attention to detail have been an essential part of my work, which has included managing asset inventory for Transport for London, digitizing statutory constraint areas for scheduled monuments, and area measurements for grant aid and subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Competent use of several GIS packages, including Mapinfo (7.8), GeoMedia Professional, Promap, and Arcview. Also competent with SQL interrogation of Databases (Oracle and Confirm), and have written several mapping programs in MapBasic.
Thursday 5 October 2006 11.44am
So you too are eminently suited to being a cider maker.
Thursday 5 October 2006 12.38pm
I like the skills-based style of CV, Jon. Thanks for that.

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 6 October 2006 2.50pm
Is Mrs I changing career too? or is she staying where she is to support you in your tranisition?

Would she move to a house with an orchard in Hereford?
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