Monday, October 12, 2009

Time for a change? Your are not alone....

Numerous times, over and over again, there is always something on and off about trying to change, such as to change jobs, careers and even way of life. For better or worse. It is not easy to change the course of life, especially when age and commitments can become hurdles.

I have been fortunate to make drastic changes in terms of careers few times over. Since 20 years ago, I have been moving around in terms of professional careers. Equipped with a degree in computer science and mathematics (operation research & methods), I have a colourful CV indeed, including a failed entrepreneur along the way. Life is a learning process, I cannot imagine to do the same monotonous job all over again.

I dare to take some risks as well as given opportunities by the bosses to explore new roles which I had not even imagined before. Last 10 years, I have ventured into broadcasting (satellite), telecommunication, engineering (civil, electrical, water, district cooling, utilities), urban planning, infrastructure development, project management and strategic planning.

Nowadays, it is a brand new challenges, new environment, new circle of friends and new level of satisfaction.....alhamdulillah.

Still, I would like love to become a full-time writer.....

This picture taken by Yahaya. On the way to Akaroa Harbour, Canterbury, New Zealand.
September 2009 while touring Christchurch.

If you’re fed up at work and fancy a new job it turns out you’re not alone, writes Eve Dugdale

Waiting to collect friends at the airport you constantly look at your watch knowing you need to get to bed and sleep before yet another tough day at work.

Worrying about the tricky project you’re handling at the office, you watch absent-mindedly as cabin crew dash past chatting and laughing on their way to board a flight to some exotic location.

Wondering what it would be like to do their job instead, you begin to curse your 9 to 5.

Come on, we’ve all experienced moments like this.

Even the most dedicated employee has times when they wish they could swap jobs if only for one day.

But according to a recent survey, a shocking 94 per cent of the UAE’s professionals would love to give up their jobs, re-invent themselves and start a brand new career.

The poll, conducted on job web site, reveals half the region’s employees would love to start a new career but they don’t know how to go about it, while another quarter said they would love to start a new career - and fully intend to.

Money, however, is an obstacle to starting a brand new career: ten per cent said that while they want to, they can’t afford to.

Furthermore, six per cent said the obstacle to starting a new career is that they feel too old, while four per cent said it is too unrealistic. Only six per cent of the region’s professionals said they do not wish to start a new career.

The survey, completed by just over 29,500 people, sought to understand from employees whether they are considering a change in their career path and the main drivers behind that change.

Laura, 34, a PR executive from the UK says she would love to try her hand at something more artistic.

But unlike the majority who took part in the survey, it’s family expectations rather than money affecting her choice of career.

She says: “I was the first in my family to go to university so for me to give up my education to pursue a career in art, which is still regarded as not a stable career to my parents’ generation, would be a big risk.”.

Laura says she can believe the findings of the survey as changing careers is a subject she often discusses with her friends.

“Many of them have been talking about trying different jobs recently - I think it may have something to do with the credit crunch and the idea that people want something more when they can’t have it.

“People know they can’t really give up their jobs because employment is harder to obtain nowadays so it’s almost like they feel denied and want it even more.”

Scandinavian, Em, who works as cabin crew says she took the job for the adventure of travelling but says it’s no longer fun.

“Because of the economic crisis, the company is pushing us more and we’re becoming unhappy,” she says. “I have a degree in tourism and I’d like to do a job related to that but the problem here in Dubai is that it’s not that easy because the salaries in that field are quite low so I’ll either have to leave or do something completely different.”

Natalie Gillam, an executive coach from NG Coaching, says she works with many people who have become unhappy at work.

She warns managers they need to be careful they don’t lose talented staff.

“Throughout the past year, many businesses have been extremely reactive to the crisis, focusing on trimming costs and protecting assets and in the process, leaving talented, innovative employees with their hands tied, asking ‘why am I here if I can’t do what I was originally employed to do?” she explains.

“The most talented people are the ones most likely to be unhappy, bored and dissatisfied at this time, when budget cuts mean that they cannot do things which enable them to feel as if they are really making a difference.

“They are also the ones that are most likely to be snapped up by other companies.”

Should you be moving on?
Natalie says it’s important for those desiring a career change to understand their motivation.

She says those considering moving on should ask themselves the following questions to help them assess whether they should be handing in their notice…

* What stage of your life are you at? Does the job you went for when you were single still suit you at the stage of life you are at now?

* Are you bored or is your job challenging enough? If not, talk to senior management and see if they can set you some new tasks.

* Consider economic factors. Perhaps the industry you work in has been left a bit shaky after the crisis or maybe your job is stalling because of new technology?

Which field has a better outlook?

* Is your work affecting your health? Are you experiencing job burn out? Do you feel overworked and stressed out? Is it all worth it?

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