Well as you might expect in my opinion that would be yes, but be under no illusion it will take persistence, determination and a positive attitude – the three essential ingredients I continuously bang on about.
Not so long ago I was working with Karen a Polish client who moved here some years ago and was working in a leading retail organisation. Karen wanted to make a transition to work for a Human Rights organisation.
And so she went about her journey. We worked her CV to draw out previous experience, skills and attributes that were a better fit for the work she aspired to become involved in, to include the voluntary work she was doing with Amnesty International She tried in vain to connect with recruitment consultants and applied without success for various roles.
It was time to move the job search on and focus on building her network, but as a non UK National Karen’s contacts were limited, and so this was no easy feat and of course her job search campaign had to fit in with her work and other commitments.
She began to explore LinkedIn as a way to develop her network and connected with people in the industry, joined forum discussions and attended industry events. She compiled questions that she could ask that would enable her to understand how other people got into the industry, what their work involved on a day to day basis and what people perceived would happen in the future. I have to say of all my clients, she’s the one who has had most success with LinkedIn, in terms of building her network and I think this is because she has a lovely approach when connecting with people both in her written and verbal communication.
The weeks slipped into months and although she was progressing in terms of building her network and knowledge, nothing concrete was taking place. That is until she had her ‘Eureka’ moment. As part of her organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility they worked with a number of charities, one of which was a Human Rights organisation and through the organisation’s intranet she discovered an opportunity which involved a two day a week secondment for twenty six weeks. I never cease to be amazed how often what we’re looking for is on our door step!
And so she prepared her application which first had to be approved by her manager, who didn’t relish the prospect of losing her but at the same time wanted to support her. This then had to be presented to the board of directors and of course it was approved.
We discussed what she wanted to get out of the secondment over and above the hands on experience and she developed a plan to help her achieve her objectives. Karen is now getting stuck in and enjoying the process and I have every confidence this opportunity will support her in achieving her career goals.
So yes with persistence, determination and a positive attitude, it is possible to make a change change into doing something completely different.
*Published with client permission. Name has been changed.
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