Whatever your stage of career, many people find themselves unhappy or lacking motivation and direction so in this article I am going to help you to consider some options you have with your career. Life circumstances can throw unexpected challenges at our career such as redundancy, company mergers or the fact that you have simply grown out of the job. These factors all mean that you need to have an idea of what you will do when your current job ends.
In a survey of 351 rail professionals conducted in late 2015, my colleague Anuradha Jain and I identified a number of pathways rail professionals believed they had with their career. These options included:
- Following the path they were already on and staying as they were currently
- Staying with the same job and discipline and becoming an expert in this area
- Becoming a manager
- Studying a different qualification for a different career
- Starting a business
While these career paths were all viable options, most rail professionals believed they were locked in to becoming a subject or technical expert or a manager. The manager role was more highly valued by participants of our study and many professionals felt they had failed if they did not become a manager. The truth is – not everyone is suitable to be a manager! So, give yourself some credit and work out what it is that you would really like to do – and have your plan ready if you need to follow it. In the meantime, you can read more about our study here –
Surprisingly, many rail professionals did not have the courage to pursue small business or consulting careers, even though many had considered this idea. The comfort of having a secure salary and regular income was something many were not willing to give up.
However, if you have this desire to develop a business, develop a plan and work towards it. Putting steps in place to achieve your goal is highly satisfying and you will not regret your actions. The worse thing that can happen is that your plan does not work out and you will need to look for another job. However, if you are motivated by the goal to start your own business, you will put steps in place to make it succeed.
The following website outlines career pathways and roles typically found in the rail industry. This may provide ideas of where you would like to go with your career if you need a change but want to stay in the industry.
‘I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions’. Stephen Covey
Until next time, consider you career options.