Career Change News/Blog
You REALLY want to be a social worker?!18th May 2012
"I want to become a social worker - what do I need to do?" This our most frequently received question on ACareerChange. If you wonder what the attraction is, there's little in the news at the moment to enlighten you. Recent cuts to social care are "putting vulnerable children and adults at risk and overloading social works with unmanageable caseloads", so says the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).
There will always be a need for social workers and this kind of news does not help in attracting the right sort of people to this career. So what is the 'right sort of person'? At this stage, we have to tell you that survey results such as these never seem to dampen the spirits of the young people who continue to ask us how to get into the profession. What they don't seem to realise is as a social worker, you see unpleasant things, you can't always do what you need to in order to help the people you want to help, and you have to do some (well an awful lot of) paperwork! For those that can't even read through an article to see that they need a degree to become a social worker, we think there must be something else that makes it look so attractive as a career.
We'll try and find some real social workers to speak to and keep those of you who really want to be social workers updated. But if you are one and you are passionate about your job, get in touch and let us know (the upsides and the downs).
Too Old for a Change?3rd May 2012
With unemployment figures scattering the newspapers everyday, job hunting at the moment is fierce. Employers can afford to be choosy when it comes to applicants because there are so many qualified people applying for so few roles. And these qualified people tend to be graduates in their twenties with few responsibilities.
But are employers being fair? Even with all of the equality laws in place there are still numerous reports of age discrimination in the workplace. Applicants who are still only in their mid thirties, and looking for a career change, are being turned down either because they are over qualified for the position or they are inexperienced for their chosen 'new career'. Some are, however, being offered internships which don't pay and are not the kind of thing many 30 years olds want to be doing, or even can as they have bills to pay. Unlike fresh young graduates who are more than likely still living at home and ready to work their way up the career ladder starting with an internship.
Many people feel that gaining more qualifications such as a degree will increase their employment opportunities. But the fact of the matter is that graduates are struggling just as much, and a degree is good but you also need the experience. It's a vicious circle and what which can put people off a career change all together.
So what can you do? Well, don't give up. Register with recruitment consultants, you may have avoided them up to now but they know the market and what's available. Tailoring your CV is a must, even if it means stripping it down for certain jobs so that you don't appear too over qualified. Try career coaches and counsellors, and try to establish what it really is that you want from your new career, and if you really want a new career or just a new job. It seems obvious and simple but writing down your goals and what you expect to achieve from a career change can make all the difference to securing a job.
Adult Learners Week27th April 2012
Many regions hold their own Adult Learner's events and with Adult Learner's week coming up in May, it's got us thinking about the relevance of training once you've been working for many years. On asking around about this it seems in the current climate many employers are not willing or able to pay for training for their employees. So a few questions started to spring to mind:
We're interested to know your thoughts about this (comments below please!) and hope to look into all these issues in future articles.
In our view it's always best to be upfront, you don't need to explain why you are enrolling on a course if it's in your own time. You can always say it's for your own fulfilment and make it seem as if it will benefit your job if it's not stretching the truth too far.
So what are adult learning events all about? Hopefully most events will give you an idea of the vast range of training that's available. A decent event will run over several days, with opening hours to cater for those who work and will have gained the support of local businesses. You should get the opportunity to talk to the people who provide the training as well as those who've perhaps taken a course or some kind of training themselves. Most of all, you should come away feeling inspired to do something to help you focus and not get bogged down by the daily reality working or looking for work. Whet your appetite in readiness for the next event you spot by checking out the Training section on this site.