Where to start if you're considering a career change during lockdown

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Careers expert Sarah Ellis speaks to Stylist about the most important things to consider before pursing a different career right now.

The latest episode of Working from Home with Stylist is here to help navigate our work-life during the pandemic. Editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski chats to The Squiggly Career author Sarah Ellis about how to take control over our careers, specifically focusing on what to do if you’re considering a career change

Although right now might not feel like the best time to look for a new job, it is still possible – but the first step to take is working out if a career change is right for you.

“I would start by reflecting on why you want to make that change,” Ellis says. 

“Reflect on your career so far: think about your must-haves, your nice-to-haves and your must-nots. Often, your must-haves and must-nots are easier because they are shorter lists and at either end of the scale. Your nice-to-haves become more of a wish list of all the things you would like to have in terms of how you work, where you work, what you work on – really prioritise that nice-to-have list because that will be your longest list.”

Ellis says there are two main reasons why this exercise is so helpful: finding direction and tackling comparison culture.

“One, it helps you to propel in the direction of the things you really want to spend your time doing, rather than beign detracted by the thing that I often call ‘shiny objects,’” she says. “And those lists [ …] just make you stop, pause and reflect based on all the things you know about yourself in your career so far.

“The second thing, and I think Stylist has done some really good work on this, is about avoiding comparison culture. It’s easier than ever to think about the careers that we should have, that we could have, what we’re meant to do next.”

Working from Home with Stylist
The Squiggly Career author Sarah Ellis joins Stacey Dooley, Helen Bownass and Billie Bhatia on Working from Home with Stylist.

She adds: “Try and make sure you come up with your own definition of what spending your time at work successfully looks like. If you really ground your decisions in that, in you, and the things that really motivate and drive you – what we often describe as your values – that’s a really good place to start.”

You can listen to the full interview below:

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Images: Getty, Stylist

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…