The secret to career swapping: Tips to get you moving

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It's never too late to trade in your job for something different...

confident woman at work
If you loathe your job and think the recession has killed all chances of either getting promoted or getting out - it's time to get bold and trade in your career for something better.

If Harrison Ford can be Indiana Jones after his humble beginnings as a cabinet maker, Arnold Schwarzenegger can go from professional bodybuilder, to actor, to governor and Katie Price can become an author, then anything's possible.

Business coach and career mentor Penny Davenport has over 20 years experience helping people achieve their career goals - so makes sense that'd she'd have a few ideas on how to get the job of your dreams...

'Are you doing a job you don't love? Do you secretly wish that you were doing something else? Is that secret something the career you dreamed of when you were younger? Career swapping isn't just for celebrities.

So many of us end up in a career that wouldn't have been our first choice. Careers questionnaires are notoriously poor at giving good guidance and are woefully out-of-date with the modern working world. Our parents steer us away from certain jobs because of the fears they have for us, or that they had for themselves. Or some families positively push their offspring into a family business, or into the same field as themselves, especially common with lawyers and doctors.

If you are dissatisfied in your current job, I would bet that 75% of you actually know what you would rather be doing. You knew this a long time ago but were talked out of it. Don't let the recession put you off from making that huge step and doing something you truly love because there are always opportunities out there.

Here are a few tips on how to get moving, so sit quietly down with a pen and paper for 30 minutes and note down your:

Do you have the right skills, and qualifications, to do what you want to do? Do you need to do further research? Are you lacking in exams or work experience?

Are you truly passionate about changing your career? Career change is not easy. You may need to go back to school or start at the bottom of the ladder. Is the recession affecting your chosen field? Should you brainstorm with a trusted friend to see if they think you have lost the plot?

How can you crack your chosen field? Do you know people who can offer work experience? What have you already learned through work that you can sell to your future employer?

Leave your notes for a day and then come back to them with a highlighter and mark clearly your next steps, and the questions that you must find answers to.

If you feel dissatisfied at work but do not know which direction you should be heading, you can do a similar brainstorming exercise in a peaceful environment. Set your timer and scribble:

• Which parts of your current job do you love and hate?
• Which skills do you have that are currently unused?
• Which hobbies, interests and dreams did you have as a child that rest unfulfilled?

Take your notes to a good friend, mentor or relative and plan some specific actions towards making change. For example, if you love talking to people but do not currently get an opportunity to sell to customers, you may be able to speak to your boss about an internal move or start looking for sales roles elsewhere.

Whatever your age, career change is entirely possible and never too late. I know lawyers and marketing managers who have transformed into teachers, and another lawyer who has become a master cake maker. See what I mean about the lawyers?'

For more advice and info on Penny, visit



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