“How Do I Find A Way Into My New Career?”

Bored with the same old work routines, Simona’s all fired up for change. She’s hit on a career idea that’s worth exploring further, but clear information is in short supply. How do you carve out a route into work you’re convinced you’ll love, when the way ahead feels like a close-kept secret?

What’s your career history and current job?

I work in market development for an international plastics company.

I originally studied Italian at university, because I’ve got a genuine passion for the language. After I qualified, I wanted to find a business-focused role that would allow me to use my language skills regularly.

I joined the company I work for now over ten years ago, gradually working my way up to the market development role I’m currently doing.

How do you feel about your work?

The company I work for is focused on creating biodegradable plastics, so it’s innovative and forward-looking with a meaningful mission, which I appreciate.

I also enjoy interacting with different people and companies around the world. I have to communicate and problem-solve in very diverse ways, and in different languages.

But my day-to-day work is built on set tasks and routines that haven’t changed in years, which I find frustrating. Although I work for a large company, I’m part of a very small and long-established team, which reduces the scope for innovative collaboration and learning new things.

I crave the energy and excitement that comes from continuous improvement and positive change. But instead, my days at work often feel stagnant.

After so many years at the same company, I’m ready to spread my wings and start something new.

What would you like to be doing instead?

I’d love to be part of a large, energetic team that’s focused on creating positive business transformation and continuous learning.

I’ve thought about working as a dedicated change consultant, collaborating with different companies on innovative, future-focused areas of business change, such as data visualisation and artificial intelligence.

To help me prepare for my potential new career, I’ve done some extensive reading and research on change management theory. I’ve also taken in-depth online courses in change management, AI, and leadership.

What’s the biggest obstacle in your way?

I don’t know how to find clear, definitive information about change consultancy as a career.

I’ve tried approaching established consultants, to find out more about what the day-to-day work would involve, and how much specific knowledge I would need to have in different areas.

But from these conversations, and researching global consultancy websites, it seems as though every firm has a different culture, and an individual way of working that is hard to articulate. I’ve also noticed that some firms value direct, hands-on experience over academic qualifications, which I’m not able to offer.

All this means it’s hard for me to picture where I might fit into the consulting industry, and what kind of approach I would need to make.

It’s also important that I don’t start my new career right at the bottom. While I may not have worked in a large team of consultants before, I’m educated to a high level, I’m multilingual, and I’ll be bringing valuable business skills and experience that I’ve gained over many years. But I can’t see how to package all of this up in a way that fits with industry expectations.

I thought that as long as I had a clear idea about where I wanted my career to go, the next steps would be relatively easy. But the more I look into change consultancy, the more confused I feel, and I’m starting to wonder if I’m just wasting my time.

How do I find the information I need to carve out a clear route to work I know I’ll enjoy?

Can you help Simona?
  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • How do you think Simona could move her shift forwards?
  • Do you know anyone she could talk to?

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