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What you Need to Consider Before Changing your Career

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Changing career takes a considerable amount of commitment and determination. If you feel that you want to change careers, ask yourself these 10 questions to see if a career change is right for you…

 

What Do You Want?

Self-assessment is the first step in making any big life decision. The only way to make an informed decision about a career change is to learn about yourself first. Understanding you and your work-related values, interests, personality type and aptitudes will help you know exactly what it is you want.

Do You Have What It Takes?

If you’re interested in pursuing a new career, you need to do your research. Look at the job market, understand what hiring managers want, what the expectations are and the skills you need. It is important to recognise what is expected before diving right in. It’s important to note that you may also be expected to work unpaid, in an interning capacity, until you gain enough experience.

What Can You Offer?

If you choose this new career what exactly is it that you can bring to the table? Do you have transferable skills or industry knowledge? If not, you may need to return to education before you can move into this new field.

Who Do You Know Who Can Help?

Even though you want a career change, the network you’ve made in your current role could help. Look at who you know and see if anyone has advice in the industry you’re interested in. LinkedIn is a great place to start.

Is There Long-Term Prospects?

Can you go far with this career? Changing career is a big step and you need to figure out in advance if it is worth it. Ask yourself where you see yourself in 5 years with this career and 10 years and so on. If the career path isn’t clear, you may need to reconsider.

Is This A Good Time?

Timing is everything. You need to take a look at where you are in your life and decide whether changing careers is feasible. It’s a huge commitment, so you need to be sure the timing is right as well as the career.

Is It Affordable?

Changing careers may involve taking a pay cut. You could have 10 years’ experience working, but if it’s not in the field you’re going into you can’t expect to be on the same salary. Can you afford to earn less or even nothing at all, because you may be required to do an unpaid internship? This is probably the most important question of them all but it’s important to remember that higher earnings don't necessarily mean job satisfaction.

Do You Have Your Family & Friends Support?

Having the support of your family and friends can be crucial in succeeding with a career change. Having that bit of encouragement can really help. Also, it’s important to listen to the people close to you. If your family and friends aren’t being supportive of your decision, you may be making the wrong one.

Are You Willing To Return to Education?

Qualifications aren’t everything but they are important to hiring mangers. If you don’t have transferable skills and industry experience, returning to education may be the only way to move into a new career.

Are Your Expectations Realistic?

Weigh up the facts. Can you really do this? Talk it through with someone you trust. Sometimes when you really want something it’s easy to get carried away in excitement. Don’t rush into it and make sure the change is possible.

Transitioning to a new career is difficult, but if you are confident it’s the right decision for you and you persevere, you should have no trouble succeeding.

Posted by Clare Reynolds on 22 May 2018

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Sigmar Announces “COVID Ready” Learning Partnership with Alison to Upskill Newly Unemployed

Sigmar Announces “COVID Ready” Learning Partnership with Alison to Upskill Newly Unemployed

Sigmar Recruitment and Alison today announce a COVID ready learning partnership as part of the emergency jobs initiative www.covidresponsejobs.com. The initiative is an online platform set up by Sigmar Recruitment to help connect the displaced workforce with current frontline job opportunities, and to upskill the restricted workforce to enhance career prospects and enable a faster economic recovery. Alison, one of the largest learning websites worldwide, is now offering access to all of its courses free and unencumbered through www.covidresponsejobs.com. The learning content being offered through the platform has been hand curated to reflect in-demand, recession-proof skills across an array of business and IT disciplines, including; data science project management customer service accounting web development computer networking e-commerce The core learning has been paired with lifestyle courses covering mental health, stress management and practical content on parenting while working from home for example aimed to support those working remote throughout the crisis period and beyond. The learning pathways have also been designed with jobseekers in mind with content on public speaking, job hunting, personal development supported by jobseeker advice on how to compete in the current marketplace, including tips on video interviewing, digital collaboration, remote onboarding and much more. Commenting on the partnership, founder of the initiative and Sigmar CCO Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “As one of the world’s largest free learning platforms, Alison presents an excellent opportunity for newly unemployed in Ireland to upskill. The learning content has been COVID curated for maximum impact encompassing business skills, IT skills, mental health and personal development. We also aim to support the restricted workforce by providing upskilling opportunities during the downtime, to better equip our workforce to rebound from the crisis in the medium term.” Speaking at the announcement, Alison Founder & CEO, Mike Feerick stated that the gesture is one Alison is happy to make. “While being a global learning business, most of our team live and work in Ireland and know personally people whose employment has been jeopardised by the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Alison has over 1,500 free certificate and diploma courses, in subjects from project management, languages, IT, to health & safety, elderly caregiving, MS Excel and free courses on GDPR. “If you have been laid off, it is an opportunity to build up and strengthen your workplace skills to enhance your chances for employment in the months and years ahead. We are delighted to partner with Sigmar on the COVID Jobs Initiative.” www.covidresponsejobs.com is a for purpose “Team Ireland” initiative created by Sigmar Recruitment, supported by Alison, Candidate Manager, The Irish Times and Communicorp, established to mobilise the Irish Workforce.

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Working From Home Guide

Working From Home Guide

As many of us have been plunged into working from home for the first time without warning, we may be struggling with where to start. Our normal routine has changed entirely leaving a lot of us wondering how you keep yourself motivated and productive. Read on for our top tips on making the most of working from home. 1. Working Space When it comes to setting up your working from home environment there is no one size fits all approach. While some people prefer one dedicated desk area that resembles an office work station, others prefer to change their environment throughout the day whether it be to sit at a desk space/their kitchen table for work that requires focus and concentration, their patio area for business calls/team meetings or their couch for catching up on emails. This is one of the key benefits of working from home - you get to decide on your ideal office set-up. However, while it can be tempting to lie in bed on your laptop all day, you are likely to tire of this and hurt your neck or back. What you want is a dedicated space that allows you to work productively with minimum distraction. Having a dedicated space also signals to your brain that you’re “at work” and puts you in the mind-frame of being productive. If working from home is a temporary measure for coronavirus, you probably don’t have that much equipment beyond a laptop. Laptops have bad ergonomics so it might be an idea to rise it on a pile of books and get a USB keyboard and mouse and treat it as a desktop. Or if you are enjoying working from home and see yourself continuing to work from home beyond coronavirus perhaps invest in a docking station and a second monitor. Stand-up desks are another popular option. A bar table or even a wide and tall surface in your home may be suitable for a couple hours a day. Switching your desk may energise you and increase your productivity for certain tasks. Finally, don’t forget to check your tech! Ensuring good connectivity at all times is fairly important for most online workers. Be prepared for an outage by having a back-up such as a mobile plan with extra data or a mobile router. After that make sure you have all the technology and tools you need to work effectively. From email and video conference software to collaboration tools - some of these may be new to you so take the time to get to grips with the basics. 2. Routine As mentioned, our normal routine has been changed, we’re no longer commuting, grabbing a coffee at the café around the corner from the office, chatting to colleagues in the canteen, attending meetings, visiting clients etc. Therefore, you will need to make a new routine to work from home. Triggers It’s important to identify “triggers” for yourself that signal to your brain that you are in work mode. Every article you read will tell you to make sure you get up and get dressed, while it is tempting to stay in your pyjamas for an hour, that hour can easily slip into a full day. After this incorporate the parts of your old routine that you benefitted from. Perhaps you enjoyed walking to work in the morning as it woke you up, if so, get outside for a walk first thing. Have a coffee in your garden/on your balcony to replace the one you had in your local café. Do an at home workout if you used to go to the gym in the morning. Set reminders to get away from your desk for five minutes every so often to mimic the breaks you took in the office to grab a coffee in the kitchen. Structure You are your own personal manager when working from home. Without things like in-person meetings to break your day, it can be easy to lose focus. Also your motivation naturally ebbs and flows throughout the day, so set yourself a schedule. List what you’ll do and then block times on your calendar as to when you will work on them. For me personally I like to block the first 2 hours of every morning for writing tasks as I find that’s when I am at my most creative. I then try to schedule video calls and meetings for the afternoon when I find my productivity is waning. Make sure to set fixed working hours for yourself. It can be tempting to stay logged on long past when you said you will finish but it is best to set up a consistent schedule with yourself so that you can make a clean break between “work” and “home”. Kill distractions Working from home and particularly at the moment it can be easy to let yourself be consumed by the news and social media. To counteract this, remove social networks from your internet browser bookmarks and log out of every account. Or create a work bookmark list and a personal bookmark list. Your work bookmark list will only consist of the bookmarks you need for your job and the personal list can include your social networks. You can hide your personal bookmark list during your working day to remove the impulse to click into social networks. 3. Stay Connected Naturally, given the anxiety surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and being unexpectedly thrown into working from home, it is natural to feel isolated. Instant messaging and video conferencing tools can make it easy to check in with your colleagues so make sure to schedule in some “non-work” related chats with your colleagues. Here in Sigmar, we schedule virtual coffee breaks with our colleagues, a ten-minute call to check in with each other and to have a chit-chat. This helps maintain team bonds and provides some light relief throughout your day. 4. Give Yourself a Break Being thrown into working from home, employees can often be harder on themselves about their productivity levels as they forget about the amount of distractions that come with working in an office environment. You might not have scheduled your coffee breaks when you worked in the office but regular breaks are important for maintaining focus and productivity so don’t be afraid to include them in your schedule. It could be a simple 10-minute break for a coffee or a snack or a few minutes to read an interesting article. Ideally, you should try to get some outdoor time during your lunch break too, so you don’t go stir crazy. Ultimately, what works best will vary from person to person so don’t be afraid to try things out over the next few weeks until you find your ideal set-up and structure. The most important thing is to find what helps you stay focused, while maintain a work life balance.