When you want to make a career change, and you want to do it properly, choose an award-winning career change programme.
The Gold Career Change programme
The Gold Career Change Programme is based on the systematic use of reputable assessments, coaching and career guidance. It was developed to offer a cost effective service to help people who want to make a career change to really understand who they are and to enable them to be better placed to make career decisions. It draws on career theory – cognitive (ability), conative (motivation and interest) and affective (personality). These are assessed via ability tests, personality questionnaire, and interest inventories.
Updated for a changing world: It’s 15 years since I first created the Gold Career Change Programme, and on a regular basis I review what I offer and make changes. The world has changed, there is less stability of employment and an increasing range of new jobs being created.
The Gold Career Change Programme is refocused. It’s more about understanding who you are so you can take advantage of opportunities including identifying potential self-employment and freelance options.
As new jobs are being created, so it is less about identifying ‘the one’ job (that might be lost to technology in the next 10 years). BUT you still get career options to explore!
Values and identifying your ideal work environment are an essential element of any career change, understanding what is important so you can use this to aid decision-making.
Career exploration for career change needs to be considered alongside your wider life. It is not a ‘done once’ activity but a part of your ongoing career development.
This career change programme combines 3 phases and is personalised for you after the first session to ensure the most relevant exercises and assessments are chosen.
Sessions are usually a combination of face to face meetings and phone/ Skype conversations.
Career change – is this you?
Many of the people who contact me are at a career crossroads, unhappy in their job and not sure what to do next. But they know they want to make a career change.
As a new graduate or younger, a person has many choices. As we progress within a career our choices can be more limited. We can be constrained by family and financial commitments.
I’m not going to tell you to make a radical change, although some clients do, but I can tell you that spending time to understand who you are can provide powerful insight to help you decide what to do next as you make your career change.
When you consider a career change, next steps can include
- Stay where you are – the job is quite secure, you are well paid and you will develop other interests.
- Move to a different but similar job – it might be the organisation/environment rather than the job so move to something similar elsewhere.
- Move to a job that builds on skills, experience, career history – I’ll use my creativity to help you demonstrate to a potential employer why your particular background makes you a strong contender for this new role.
- Move to something new – clients have made radical changes, and you could too, but I’d make sure you had considered it in detail, gaining awareness of risks and challenges and with a robust plan. you then make a well considered career change
You need to find out more so you can come back and make the right choice.
Career Change Step 1 – Understanding Me- my career story
You spend time in advance preparing for this session, then in a session of about 1 hour we cover:
- Critical Success Factors – preparation work and full discussion.
- Skills and experience – Some of our skills are those we want to continue to use, our motivated skills. There are other skills that we don’t want to use, burnout skills. It’s important to differentiate between these.
- Interests – going beyond the Strong Interest Inventory.
- Family background – This includes family expectations (explicit and implicit) which can affect and influence our choices.
- Goals – If you have other life goals we need to understand these and incorporate into our work.
- Ideal working environment: You consider the type of company, location, ideal manager and much more. Your results are not fixed and can be adapted as you move into your research phase.
We also consider constraints: These could be personal constraints – financial, family etc. but can also be internal such as recognising a lack of drive, a fear of change. Sometimes people are of the ‘yes, but style …’ and don’t take any action. Being honest will enable the programme to be enhanced to suit your needs.
This is quite a fast paced session and can be extended on request for an additional fee.
Career Change Step 2 – Assessments
You take these from your home computer in advance of the feedback discussions. Overall the assessment will take about 4.5 hours but can be taken in segments. The most popular are:
- Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) – the 3-hour assessment with a 90-minute feedback discussion
- MBTI Step 2 – with a 45-minute discussion or the 15FQ
- Strong Interest Inventory (SII) with guidance notes
Research assignment – exploring options from the career report with full guidance.
Career Change Step 3 – Bring it together session
You spend time in advance preparing for this session. This includes working through a pack of Values Cards to learn more about your values.
This is a 2-hour session enabling you to make sense of who you are and what you want to do. We will discuss your findings and considering options.
In this collaborative session, the results from all assessments, other exercises and the outcomes from the preparation phase are brought together to help you to understand the factors to take into account when making a career change. We will summarise the key elements needed for job satisfaction. We also discuss any ideas you may have and integrate this into our work. Prior to this session Denise will have summarised your values exercise and produced a graph of your top values.
Bringing together three assessments results in triangulation – you understand why jobs are being suggested. We then look broader and include your responses from Step One.
Up to 2 hours is allocated to this session and can be extended if required. Alternatively, the session can be split into 2, whatever work best for you.
Career Change Step 4 – guided research
You leave this session with a comprehensive plan to explore a list of jobs, with the comprehensive Next Steps Booklet guiding you through what to do.
You also get complimentary access to The Successful CV online programme.
You undertake your research assignment – deeper exploration and making choices. I’m available by email for questions on this process.
(Optional) Review Meeting
This is recommended to take place 2 – 6 weeks from our step 3 meeting. In this session we will review your research, and support you into making a decision. We will discuss how to stay resilient in times of setbacks. We will create a new action plan if required.
Career Change Assessments
The ability of any single assessment to predict career direction increases dramatically when there is agreement between several tests. Analysis will seek out these areas of agreement. E.g. if each assessment points towards a career in law or sales, then clearly this is a priority area to explore.
The discussions are recorded and uploaded to enable you to download and save to your computer. You also receive comprehensive reports and supporting materials.
The Highlands Ability Battery is an objective assessment of your natural ability and consists of 18 different work samples. It is an objective measure of your relative ability to do specific things from solving problems to remembering what you read. It tells you what you’ll find easy, what will be difficult and is the foundation to effective career change. It’s extensive, taking around 3 hours (but you don’t need to complete it in one session) and the results will help you to really understand yourself.
The MBTI is a self-reporting personality inventory, designed to help you understand yourself, your natural preferences, motivations, and potential areas for growth. It aids in understanding others, particularly those with different types. This expanded version looks at the 5 individual facets that make up each preference and is helpful additional information when making a career change.
The Strong Interest Inventory measures your interests using 291 different questions to explore your likes and dislikes with regard to categories such as careers, leisure activities, school subjects. Your responses are compared to a representative sample of occupations followed by people who enjoy their work, have worked in that area for at least three years and who do typical work for the field. You get a prioritised list of occupations which match your interests. The Strong Interest Inventory is a very straightforward assessment and you get guidance notes along with the report rather than a discussion. Useful information to help you with your career change.
Interested in more self-understanding? You may also like to take
The Firo-B The Firo-B® is a fantastic instrument to help you understand your own behaviour and the behaviour of others. It is ideal for anyone wanting to improve relationships with other people, whether just one other person or with a group of people. It can also help with personal understanding when you make a career change.
Or SWAP the MBTI Step 2 for the 15FQ
To understand personality via assessments used in recruitment choose The 15FQ. This draws out career implications, and potential pitfalls in terms of the work environment, the job itself, and the organizational culture. It provides a good assessment about what a person is usually like and can also cover additional information on things like team role, leadership and negotiating style. I think this can be very valuable when making a career change.
To discuss if this programme is right for you, arrange your complimentary discussion with Denise