Changing Career as a Dad

Photo by Luke Peters

This article was kindly written by Luke Sandford at Educations Media Group.

Changing careers is always a huge step. It becomes even more of one when you’re a dad. But it is one that is manageable. Despite the current challenges posed by the pandemic, it’s more achievable now than ever before. 

According to research recently conducted by findcourses.co.uk, more than a third of people are actively going about changing careers. Even amongst those who are happy and content in their roles, almost nine-in-ten (89%) are flirting with the notion of a career change. 

But ‘none’ is oversimplifying the issue. And – as I’m discovering – it’s not strictly true. Here’s an example.

Do a Little Homework

First and foremost, you need to find out which sectors are hiring and, within that, which roles. Some sectors have few recruitment opportunities or even hiring freezes. Use jobs sites and LinkedIn to see where you have the best chance of finding your next career. 

Most job sites let you search by sector. It should be relatively easy to work out where the jobs are. See if you match with jobs in the sectors which interest you. Thanks to transferable skills and relevant experience, you might just be more of a match than you realise. 

In most cases, it’s advisable to refresh your knowledge with vocational courses or by getting to know the basic soft skills that organisations request nowadays with programmes like communication training. This will help you leverage your experience and give you an advantage over other candidates. 

Once you’ve got a rough approximation of who’s hiring and where, it’s time to reach out to your network.

Networking is Key

Being a dad, you already have an advantage in that your network is so much larger thanks to your offspring. Think about the people you know through your nursery or school. Along with your professional and social connections, this adds up to a fairly healthy network. 

The good thing about having non-work/social related contacts is that they can come from all walks of life and career paths. It might well be that the mum you sometimes chat to at the school gate happens to work for a company that has caught your attention. 

A quick chat at the school gates could go far

Childcare and Career Changes

Sometimes, career changes require training, upskilling or education outside of normal working hours. If you have children, this could cause a headache. Fortunately, you do have some options. 

Family, friends, after-school clubs or childminders are the most obvious solutions. But these aren’t always viable options for everyone. Luckily, there are government support schemes in place. These vary depending on the age of the child and how many hours of childcare you’re seeking. If you’re in education or training as part of your career change, then some universities, colleges and education centres do provide childcare options. 

There are plenty of options available if you do a little digging.

The Main Points

More people are either actively changing careers or considering doing so than have done so in a very long time. Things can become a little more complicated, however, when you have parental responsibilities. But this shouldn’t deter you – in fact, it can even be an advantage. 

Through the school run and the social connections you have through being a parent, you probably already have a larger network than most. Combining reaching out with doing a little research into the sectors and roles that are hiring could help you get a better understanding of the direction you should take with your career change. 

Finally, don’t forget to research your childcare options, should you need to undertake more training for your career change. There might be more options out there than you think. 

2020 has been a year filled with curveballs. Now is as good a time as many to catch a few of them.

Luke Sandford is a writer and content producer at Educations Media Group. Currently based in Lund, he is originally from the UK and graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2018 with a BA in Education. He has since written for several outlets and has worked as an English teacher, both at home and abroad. Luke’s passion for travelling and experiencing new cultures directly impacts his work as he seeks to create engaging, informative and useful content for a wide audience.

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