jess

Map a new strategy (Sydney Morning Herald: 17 Sep 2011)

Finding a different direction could be the key to achieving job satisfaction, writes Amy Mitchell. Nicholas Ricciuti could be described as a career matchmaker. As chief executive of ReinventYourCareer, he connects employers with employees who have the skills and experience they’re looking for. Ricciuti says that on average, people change careers seven times in their [...]

Finding a different direction could be the key to achieving job satisfaction, writes Amy Mitchell.

Nicholas Ricciuti could be described as a career matchmaker. As chief executive of ReinventYourCareer, he connects employers with employees who have the skills and experience they’re looking for.

Ricciuti says that on average, people change careers seven times in their lifetime – and that number is rising. Add to that the fact that 70 per cent to 80 per cent of jobs are never advertised and it’s easy to see why people might need a helping hand to find their perfect career match.

The reasons people choose the wrong career in the first place are many. But Ricciuti says well-meaning family and friends are often the cause.

‘‘Mum and dad promote a certain career based on their own work and educational experience and [young people], in the main, listen to the people around them,’’ he says.

‘‘They generally follow a career path to keep the status quo.’’ Ricciuti says the decision to change careers is usually based on emotion, whether it’s boredom, anxiety, frustration or fear. And big life events, such as marriage, travel, illness or losing a job, spur people to act on any underlying unhappiness with their careers. ‘‘They may wake up one morning and feel like they can’t keep doing what they’re doing,’’ he says.

‘‘They’ve got to the point where they realise they’re not actually fulfilled.’’ Many people then reassess what they want. ‘‘They go back to their inner child and think about what career would make them happy,’’ Ricciuti says. Having a mortgage, children and other financial responsibilities are some of the reasons why people baulk at making a career change. But Ricciuti recommends taking financial considerations out of the equation when trying to decide on the right career path. ‘‘I’d advise them to work their nine-to-five job [to pay the bills] and do the job they’re passionate about on weekends or study after hours,’’ he says.

‘‘Then when they get their education or some momentum with their other career, they can make the switch.’’ He also suggests people find a professional career practitioner to help map a strategy that considers both immediate and long-term career goals.

Long-term career prospects and job satisfaction were two factors that led Alison Greer to switch careers eight years ago. The 32-year-old had studied graphic design and worked in the printing industry for a couple of years before heading to London on a working holiday. There, she worked in hospitality and graphic design but the travel bug had taken hold.

‘‘When I got back to Sydney, I found myself in the position where I could throw myself back into graphic design or I could do something else,’’ she says. Her flatmate in London had worked for Flight Centre and planted the seed of possibility in Greer’s head.

‘‘I had just come back from overseas and I thought it was a good time to look into the possibility of trying something else,’’ she says. ‘‘Flight Centre was on my mind as I’d just done all that travelling.’’

With no industry experience, she applied and secured a job. Greer was quickly promoted to team leader and is now an area leader, responsible for up to 18 Flight Centre outlets.

‘‘When I started at Flight Centre, the big-picture plan was to be in the role I’m in now,’’ she says. ‘‘The great thing about Flight Centre, and why I can see myself staying here, is that if I felt I wanted a change, it’s such a big company, there are so many opportunities within it.’’

The ReinventYourCareer Expo in Sydney on September 24 and 25 is a one-stop shop for people looking to switch careers or jobs, make a lifestyle change or simply explore their options. A huge range of industries will be represented, showcasing more than 500 vocations. People can meet employers, educators, trainers and professional career practitioners and discover business opportunities in franchising.

Reference: Sydney Morning Herald, 17-18 September 2011