Making a career change into a skills shortage role
According to a Prospects COVID-19 survey in 2020, nearly half of those aged 35 to 54 were thinking of changing their careers, while a quarter of respondents aged 18 to 24 and two-fifths aged 25 to 34 reported the same thing. A pipe dream? Not at all. Both statistics and experience say career changes are possible and permissible.
Taking three of my clients as an example, each started from a different place and 10 months on are in career transition. One person, mid-20s is switching to data analysis, another in his early 40s is training as a UX web designer, the third is close to retirement, has left corporate life, and is setting up hospitals in Rwanda.
No matter which season of life we are in, or what our personal circumstances need and will allow, it is likely there is a role we can do.
How easy will it be to break into a new field, is a common question. This depends on time, effort, transferable skills, and job availability. Some clients have made the impossible happen. Others have opted to take a safer route and train in a role in which there is a national skills shortage. The Skills Network has just released an updated list of skills shortage jobs in the UK.
- teaching assistants
- HGV/LGV drivers
- family support workers
- home care social workers
- personal care assistants
- project managers
- bathroom cleaners
- registered nurses
There are several websites in which skills shortages can be found, both nationally and locally. Given they are updated on a regular basis the best thing to do is a Google search and then research options that pique interest, will pay the bills, and suit transferable skills.
Following on from this, The Skills Network also released data which shows which occupations are most in-demand in the UK.
- sales accounts and business development managers
- care workers and home carers
- programmers and software development professionals
- primary and nursery education teaching professionals
- finance and investment analysts and advisors
- van drivers
- bookkeepers, payroll managers, and wages clerks
- cleaners and domestics
- elementary storage occupations
What is interesting is that each of these lists contains roles that meet a plethora of skills, hours, salary, and training requirements. No matter which season of life we are in, or what our personal circumstances need and will allow, it is likely there is a role we can do.
Admittedly not all of the occupations are glamourous. However, roles such as care workers and home carers, do offer good job satisfaction. People who work in this field often and openly say how much they love it as they can immediately see the positive impact they have on those they directly care for.
The UK National Careers Service website lists over 800 occupations and each one has details of training needs and salary requirements. It is a superb website to go to and start career transition research. What about using the lists above and seeing which roles are interesting, motivating, and possible? When shortlisting, bear in mind salary requirements, work-life balance, cost of retraining, and both immediate and long-term needs including career progression.
Start today. Don't look back and regret.