Had a chat today with a friend who was bemoaning the fact that there was nowhere to go for careers advice – I mean advice for someone in their late thirties who has been in employment for the last 17 years.
This is something I have been thinking about and living for the last few weeks. What do you do if you want to explore new types of work, take your next step up, take your skills into new industry sectors.
Well, you can read generic careers advice on job boards but that is exactly what it is – generic. There is a big opportunity for job boards to serve up better targetted content. Or you can go to your professional association – if you have one – as they usually provide advice (take the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's HR careers site, for example).
You can visit a careers consultant – there are plenty to choose from but they will cost you. They can be very good too – as a part of my redundancy package I have had some time with an outplacement consultant which has been hugely valuable.
You can talk to a recruitment consultant – better for jobs rather than careers. But, there is still a tendency to talk specifically about CVs and the jobs they have to fill rather than a broader look at how your skills can be applied in new roles and sectors.
The most useful resource for finding jobs and careers advice that I have found is other people. But not just any other people – people who are in the types of roles I would like or know something about them.
This is where connections through social media are so important. Thanks to Twitter, Linkedin etc and communities such as Connectinghr I have been able to talk to some very interesting people. I haven't asked them for a job, I have just asked advice. If they have not been able to help they usually suggest someone who can. I have found people have been more than happy to give me advice, names of people to talk to etc.Key to all this is finding the right people who you trust to give you decent advice.
From looking around the web, I still think there are big opportunities for up-to-date curated content that would be really useful to job seekers. In the meantime, I'll continue to try and connect with the right people.
I started this post with a question – if you know of good places for jobs and careers advice then I'd love to hear about them.