6.7 Matching you and the work
Your work in Block 2 may have uncovered practical issues that you could face if you want to do a specific kind of work. For example, your preferred work options may not be widely available in your area, or you may have discovered that the type of volunteer work that you want to do is restricted to the organisation’s head office, which is too far away for you.
Before you let issues like these dominate your thinking, consider your timescales for finding your preferred type of work. Ask yourself these questions and note down the answers:
- How long are you prepared to work to develop your career and get the job you want?
- Do you have a time limit for entry into the job of your choice?
- Have you got time to study for any necessary qualifications?
- Do you have any other options?
- Are there other ways into the job?
You may not feel the need to answer these questions now, and that’s fine. Alternatively, if you have concerns, you might want to note down your immediate thoughts. This allows you to ‘park’ the problems for now and move on. You can always return to these questions and your reflections later.
Earlier you considered your preferences based on your capabilities, values, interests and personal circumstances. It is usually only when you start to look at what is available that you discover that it might not be so easy to find job opportunities that match your preferences. Try not to become despondent. You may be able to retrain or find similar jobs that you can apply for. You may just need to think more flexibly, to take advantage of what is available.
Before moving on to Activity 14, remind yourself of how much you have already achieved. Focus only on the things you have done, not the things you might have left to one side. Whatever you are able to do on this course is great, as it still takes you forward. Remember that you will have your notes to return to at any stage in the future. You can pick up any loose threads when you feel ready and able to do that.
First, read back through your notes and identify the type of work you want to find. Next, think about whether any of the eight options in Section 6.5 open up ways of working that you had not previously considered. For example, can you combine two forms of part-time work? Could you set up a small business from home, alongside your existing job if necessary? Would it be practical for you to do temporary work, as a way of finding out more about the types of work and employer that appeal to you?
Make some notes in answer to the following questions:
- What work pattern options had you not previously considered?
- Do any of them appeal to you? If so, why?
- Do any of them seem to have the potential to provide a ‘bridge’ or ‘stepping stone’ to the work you want?
- What research question(s) does this raise for you? What might you need to find out to test the viability of your new ideas?
As with many of the activities in the course, your answer will be personal to you. Whatever these are, they represent real progress in the career planning process – so well done!