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A survey from Investec suggests that around half of workers were hoping not just to change jobs in the next five years, but change careers.
By: Adi Gaskell, Contributor
Charles Darwin famously remarked that it’s not the strongest of the species that survives, but rather those most able to adapt to their changing environment. Nowhere is this more evident than in the workplace, where it’s increasingly common for people to change jobs, and even change careers over what is widely expected to be a longer working life than ever before. Indeed, a survey from Investec suggests that around half of workers were hoping not just to change jobs in the next five years, but change careers.
Of course, there are professions where this kind of transition is the norm, and one of those is sport, where athletes typically reach the end of their sporting careers around the age of 30, and then have to transition into other forms of work. Research from Curtin University, in Australia, explored how athletes were managing this transition.
The process is interesting because of the circumstances involved. Sometimes athletes will retire of their own volition, but often injury will force premature retirement on an athlete that hastens their need to find a new way to earn a living. The research found that the key to finding a successful second career was understanding the transferable skills they may possess, not least in terms of the psychological demands of discipline, collaboration and perseverance that were central to their sporting success and would be an asset in other professions. Couple that with the ability to deal with stress and pressure, and there are clear skills that can be deployed in a second career.
The study found that the discovery of these transferable skills was central to the successful transition between careers, and these transferable skills were often ‘soft’ skills, such as teamwork, communication, collaboration, resilience, discipline and leadership. Research from the London School of Economics finds that these kind of soft skills are especially important for those with low technical skills, and can provide a 20% boost to one’s earnings compared to one’s peers.
In 2019, learning platform Udemy outlined the 10 key soft skills for the future of work:
Whether it’s moving house, entering a new relationship or starting a new career, change can be hugely stressful however it plays out, but there are things you can do to make the transition that little bit easier (and hopefully more effective).
Change is never easy, but with evidence suggesting that it’s going to become a more frequent occurrence, it’s something that we have to get better at. Hopefully these tips will help you do just that.
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