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Change: one word, six little letters, but what power it used to hold over me.

Going outside my warm, cozy comfort zone; moving away from what I know and finally feel reasonably confident in – why in the world would I even consider it? Sheer madness.

However, it turns out that some big changes which have taken place in my professional and personal life over the last three years have worked out really well. So much so, that I wouldn’t undo them!

I have changed profession (“Big 5’” trained, practicing Investment Funds Lawyer living and working in Dublin for eight plus years, to Senior Recruiter and Head of Legal at Azon) and city (living and working in Dublin to living in Limerick and splitting my time between Azon’s Dublin and Limerick offices).

As a recruiter, change is something which I discuss with candidates on a daily basis. Some have made a firm decision that it is time for a professional change, whereas others are just starting to toy with the idea. The reasons for change can be down to personal circumstances (a big driver in my case), purely career driven or a mix of both.

Change in a career context can take many forms. It can range from a new role within your current organisation (be it a lateral or upwards move) through to a complete change of career as in my case.

Change is scary, no doubt about it.

However, it can also be exciting and exhilarating if you approach it correctly and with the right mind set.

To Change or not to Change

Some of my top tips for anyone considering a career change are:

  • Pros and Cons: Make a list of the positives and negatives of your current employer and current role. Try to be as professional and objective as possible when doing this e.g. if it has been a particularly rough day at the office, maybe wait and do it over the weekend!Consider this list carefully as it provides a useful insight into what your overall motivating factors are in a professional context. This is invaluable when trying to decide the best company and culture fit for you.
  • The Driver for Change: Examining your main motivators behind a potential change is a must. For example,  if you have one or two concerns but overall you enjoy your current role/employer, then going straight to the nuclear option is not advisable.Instead, have an open, honest, frank conversation with your manager. If you no longer feel sufficiently challenged in your current role but enjoy working with the company, perhaps there is a project or new client management could get you involved in. Or maybe there is a brand new role that you weren’t even aware of up to this point hat your employer feels could be a good fit. If you have concerns about career progression, talk it through. It could be that your fears are unfounded and there is a particular career path in mind for you.Also, this should be good learning piece for your employer that perhaps they need to engage with their employees more regularly so you could also be doing them a favour!

Decision Made

If having considered the above, you still feel that a change is the right move for you, the following may prove useful:

  • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: Change is scary and tends to result in an extreme case of “what if I make the wrong decision?” syndrome! However, if there is something in your gut telling you to explore new opportunities or changes, listen to it and don’t ignore it. Instincts are there for a reason.
  • Back Yourself:  Consider the quality and transferability of the experience and skills you have gained in your career to date and don’t underestimate them. My professional qualification gave me a fantastic skill-set, one that maybe I didn’t fully appreciate until I started considering a career outside of law.
  • Talk: Whether you are considering whether to become a solicitor, a move within law or a complete career change, leverage from the experience of your peers and friends. Knowledge really is power and the more informed a decision, the more comfortable you will feel with your choice.That twenty minute cup of coffee could prove invaluable. Did I mention that I love coffee?!
  • What is for you won’t pass you: Cheesy I know but I really do believe this. Open yourself up to new opportunities and if one presents itself, don’t be afraid to explore it.

Ruth Lyndon | Head of Legal Recruitment | Azon Recruitment Group

If you are considering a change or you would simply like to learn more about the market and relevant opportunities, please contact Ruth in complete confidence on 01 554 9260 / rlyndon@azon.ie, or find her on LinkedIn.

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