Anna’s Situation: I have moved out of the city to be with my partner, and we are now living in an area where there aren’t opportunities in the area of work that I am highly trained and qualified to work in. I know we are probably going to be here for the next three years at least.
I have a job in a local shop but it’s really just to get me out of the house. I’m not using my Masters education at all. I’m also finding that I’m not enjoying that job.
Anna’s Question: What do I do so that I’m not just marking time here? Is there any way of advancing my career in this situation?
Deborah’s Answer: Having moved home ten times with my husband’s career I really empathize with this question, Anna!
For people who are ambitious, hard working and motivated it can be so difficult when other life circumstances affect your career opportunities. You have worked hard to attain all the qualifications and experience that you have, and you need to feel you have an outlet to use this in the world.
Here are five ways to stay engaged with your career when your life circumstances have taken you on a detour.
1. Look for broader opportunities
Even though your specific field isn’t represented in the area where you live, there may be jobs nearby that are more broadly related to your qualifications. For example, if your experience is in one type of engineering work, look to see what other types of engineering jobs are in the area.
2. Look for remote work opportunities
No matter where you live, there are more and more jobs that can be done through teleworking. Consider opportunities for related work that can be done at a distance.
3. Focus on further education and relationship building
Would further distance learning training be valuable to you in the long run? If spending extra time learning keeps your skills sharp, it could be a worthwhile investment. Another benefit of being in a learning environment is that you have a built-in way to stay connected to other individuals in your field. Those relationships could come in handy for future job searches.
4. Engage your brain and use the time to explore
Given that your day job has you bored, seek intellectual stimulation from other avenues. These outlets don’t necessarily have to be academic subjects that relate to your career. They could be engaging hobbies that give your brain a chance to adapt to new information. You could also consider whether you want to do something completely different during this period and give yourself a chance to explore other interests.
5. Find a better short term solution
Lastly, if you are not enjoying your “bridge job” (the job that is just to get you out of the house) you really don’t need to stick with it. Tap into the local community to find out what other opportunities might be available. Paying attention to your short term need of a better day-to-day job does not mean that you have given up on your wider career goals.
Even in a location with limited opportunities, there are still ways to stay connected to your career. Put in the extra effort today to reap the benefits down the road.
Has your career been affected by relocation? What struggles has that brought you? Share your concerns below!
Client Feedback on Working with Deborah in a Cardy Career Coaching program:
“Deborah was more than warm and personable over the phone, and I felt like we had maintained a great connection throughout the process. She was a great cheerleader and fair critic when I was showing unfairness and ignorance towards myself!” – Just Get Me Pointed in the Right Direction Client
Each week the Cardy Career Coaching Team is tackling a career question from someone in our community. If you’re at a crossroads with your career and would like to pose a question, sign up for the Step-By-Step Career Change E-Course! There’s a link to a quick survey in the early emails of the course where you can leave us a question. We might just write a blog post for you!