Getting back into work after an unexpected event

August 3, 2017

Did you know most people today will change jobs ten to fifteen times during their working life?

While some workers may choose to change jobs frequently, for others career changes can be highly unexpected. Events such as a life changing injury or a company restructure can leave people struggling to see what their next step will be.

This is where Fit For Work, Vocational Consultants, like Debbie Gray come in. As a Vocational Consultant, Debbie’s job is to help clients to get back on their feet by giving them the tools to re-enter the workforce and regain their independence. This includes helping with CVs and cover letters; re-establishing work routines; coordinating vocational training for new careers and setting up and monitoring work trials.  

“Every client that comes to me has unique life and employment experiences, motivation, expectations and health issues. My job involves a lot of questioning, listening, and working with clients. Overall, the end objective is to help a client overcome the barriers and obstacles they may face and prepare them for a return to work” Debbie says. 

We’ve asked Debbie for some tips on how to best manage a career change.


‘Do your homework’

Debbie says the best thing people can do when thinking about a career change is to talk to people who are working in the industry they want to join.  

“It’s so important that people don’t rely on the Internet to tell them what a job is like. If you really want to know what a regular day brings, you need to go out and network with people. Spending time connecting with people might save you from pursuing work that is not the best fit for you”.


Keep your skills up to date

If you are currently in employment, you can stay prepared for an unexpected career change by continuing to keep your skills up-to-date through ongoing professional development.

“Even in a developed career people need to anticipate change as nothing is static. Going to regular courses and getting transferable skills that can be taken to a job in any field will help people during an unexpected career change” Debbie says.


Get tech savvy

“People who have not had to search for a new job for some time can find online job search sites overwhelming” Debbie says. “It’s not about looking in newspapers anymore, it’s about keeping up with trends and working out which online platforms will help you find the job you want”.

Seek, TradeMe Jobs and LinkedIn are all great online tools for finding a job. However, don’t limit yourself to one, navigate your way around each of the sites to increase your chances of finding the job you want.  


Ask your mates

The more ways you use to look for a job, the shorter amount of time it will take you to get a job. While online job sites are important, networking and asking your contacts about potential employment is still a great way to find out about jobs that are not yet advertised.

“People rely too much on advertised jobs and online sites. Use your networks, ask your friends if they know of anything going. Employers are more likely to hire someone based on a recommendation”.


What happens if you don’t get the job?

“Don’t give up” Debbie says. “It’s common for people to not get the first job they interview for”.

While it can be disappointing to not get a job you want, Debbie says the best thing to do is to see each failed interview as practice for the next one.

“It’s important that people don’t focus on simply not getting the job. Celebrate the milestones along the way. It’s all a learning process and while you might not get the first, second or third job, continuing to send out applications and getting asked for an interview is an achievement in itself”.




Filed under Career Change

Leave a comment

Fields marked * are required