Career change and time to look for a new job while working

Friday, August 8th, 2008 - Blog

Catarina asks: I work in the financial field for 7 years now and I never really liked it, I felt in it by chance. I feel so burned out and depressed and I need a career change. I had some holidays abroad and spoke with a career counsellor that advised me to change into direct marketing, I´ve been working as a volunteer for charities in direct marketing and I love it, I really feel I´m using all my right skills. She helped write a functional C.V. for me to look for a new job. I already have a post-graduate degree in Marketing.

My problem is, due to my full-time job (I work from 9-6) I don´t have time to concentrate in looking for job ads and do the career change properly. Also my company is not very flexible with working hours. I feel really depressed about having to concentrate in something I´m so burned out and not be able to have free time to concentrate instead on my career change. What do you advice me to do? Should I take the risk and just quit? I don´t know how long will it be till I find a new job in this new field, although I have a recruiter friend that´s helping me with the job search part. Please advice!

In answer:
Hmmm – the modern internet powered world was meant for you!

First, congratulations on accepting your unhappiness, and doing something about solving it. Honestly, having found what you now want to do, you are 7/10ths of the way there mentally, and 5/10ths of the way there in the time line. And secondly, don’t yet leave your existing job – being employed gives you leverage when negotiating for salary, benefits, etc.

In the old pre-internet world, you had to leave your job to find a new job – not now in the internet world! Tap into Google “Direct marketing jobs X” where X is the state or city in which you wish to work – I suggest you don’t go down to town or county level, unless you live in a big city county. From that, you should find a series of jobs board with such jobs listed on them – choose the board where the most jobs you like are listed, and register as a candidate.

Modern recruiters and employers accept that candidates are busy, and that 9-5 interviews are often a thing of the past. As you register two things happen – now you can apply for those listed jobs, and recruiters looking for people with your skills can approach you. When you come home at night, simply check your eMail, and respond to the jobs/recruiters you think will fulfil your needs. When you are approached by recruiters or employers, explain that you will find it difficult to attend an interview during work hours, so would an initial telephone interview suffice with follow-up either at lunchtime or another time when you are free.

If you want something slightly more advanced, do the Google search again. Now comes the nifty modern bit – Google provides you with an RSS feed, effectively a whole stream of information which matches your search criteria. There will be an orange-coloured symbol to the left of the URL return, that looks like a square with a series of ripples coming out of it – press that and a piece of text will appear. Click on the text, and on the next window select Google Reader (if you don’t have a Google Reader account, simply register for one). This feed will now keep you informed on a daily basis of all the new things Google finds which match your search criteria – in other words, Direct marketing jobs in X!

You have made great progress so far, but the dilemma of “stay unhappy or leave to find happy employment” doesn’t really happen in the modern world – it works for you to find a better position!

Good luck, and if I can help further, please – just ask!

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