Date: 11 April 2022
Changing careers or re-joining the workforce can be a daunting task with many options available to you. What are the things you should consider? Here is a list of 5 things I worked off that helped me decide on the Assurity Fresh Start programme.
Most every company out there will have a set of values that they endeavour to run their business by. Researching the values of a company may indeed help you decide whether you want to be a part of their business. What I mean by this is, do these values align with your own? This may not be something you’ve consciously thought about, but most of the time, people do have a set of values that if aren’t met, may lead to unhappiness or an unsatisfactory environment.
For example, I ended up leaving my last organisation because our values are no longer aligned. I felt that we were no longer traveling on the same road together and rather than compromise my values, we needed to part ways. With this firmly in mind, when researching Assurity I made sure value alignment was a priority for me. Visiting the Assurity website showed me that we shared a lot of common values, and this theme continued throughout my interview process and into the Fresh Start program, where my feelings about our compatibility were cemented. I could see and feel it in my day to day interactions with everyone I encountered, from one of the co-founders to the CEO, all of which visited with us on our first day in the program, I also saw the values in action in my fellow Fresh Starters, even though we are all from different backgrounds, we bonded through our values.
2. What interests you?
To many, what interests you and what you do for a job aren’t necessarily tied together, however, if you are changing careers, why shouldn’t they be? Perhaps another way to understand this is, what excites you and gets you up in the morning? This is a great way of thinking when considering a career change. It may not be immediately obvious, it may be a small part of your current role, something you consider to be a hobby, or something that you’ve heard about that genuinely intrigues you. I can honestly say that within the Fresh Start program I encountered all three of these scenarios. In my case, when I came across the advertisement for the Fresh Start program and began to look into Assurity to find out what they did, it sparked my interest. User Acceptance testing was a task of my previous role and it was one that I really enjoyed and looked forward to performing. It never occurred to me that I should or could make this my full-time job, yet here I am doing a job that I’m passionate about and gets me out of bed in the morning. To a degree, many people, including myself, need to essentially retrain our way of thinking when it comes to careers and begin to understand how our interests can open up many pathways within the job market.
3. Room / Opportunities for Growth
How you measure success in a company, I would argue one of the ways, would be their ability to nurture and grow their employees. Growth may also be a way of measuring your own success. In either case, many people who become dissatisfied with their current workplace will cite a lack of growth opportunities within the company, therefore when researching a new career, it is important to gauge if these opportunities exist and how that growth is measured. This may not be the simplest of tasks, however, company websites can give you an idea of how the company operates in this space, perhaps they have examples of courses employees can attend, or a bio of a current member of staff may indicate movement within the company. If you make it to the interview process, you could raise this as a question. When beginning my journey on the Fresh Start program, I was shown many different pathways that all represented growth within Assurity. However, even before then, I had identified one of the core values of Assurity is, “We Value Potential”. A shared sense of career growth may also serve to make you more attractive to potential employers. If career growth is important to you, there have to be opportunities within the company or business you choose to pursue, or you may end up looking for another career sooner than later.
4. The Culture
Considering the culture of a company should be a top priority when changing careers.
The culture can be tied to a company’s values, and also the employees. You may have worked in businesses before, where the vibe didn’t seem quite right, or there were constant personality clashes or interpersonal issues between employees. While it’s not unusual to see these things happen occasionally when it goes unchecked that can lead to a toxic culture, often making for a psychologically unsafe work environment. Feeling this out when choosing a company or career can prove to be tricky, however, if a company’s website has its values on it, it may provide insight into how its culture works, and this may also be seen through the support that they offer employees. Another good source of info to get a glimpse into a company’s culture is via Glassdoor – where ex and existing staff provide anonymous feedback about a company. Again, when interviewing, try to enquire into the company’s culture. This provides both yourself and your interviewer insights into the importance of culture. An example of this for me is twofold, throughout my career I have encountered issues that were ignored, which fostered a hostile work environment between management and employees, ultimately creating a toxic work culture, leaving myself and others unhappy and underproductive. In my new role at Assurity, I have seen through the selection process, interview, and Fresh Start program, that at the heart of the company is people, and those people are aware and care enough about each other that it builds a strong culture resulting in great work and personal results. Through these two examples, you can see why culture shouldn’t be overlooked when changing careers.
5. Future Proofed
While this may seem like an odd term to think about in a career change, and one can argue 10 – 20 years ago this may have been the case, there is no denying that with technology advancing at an astonishing rate, there are certain career options that may have an expiration date. This is where you can align those interests and employee growth into a blossoming career that will indeed have a long-lasting shelf life. That’s j0ust one of the things the Fresh Start program has provided me. I’ve entered into a world that is key to the future, something that I had been interested in has opened that door for me. While researching the role I would be coming into and thinking about where I was coming from, the future proof of each was night and day. In my previous industry, the sun is setting and now with Assurity it is on the rise.