Decisions to make – Considering a Career Change or Perhaps it is time to explore the alternatives.

At what point do you decide to leave your job?

A few decades ago, it was considered unwise to leave your job, even if you had a new job lined up. It was the accepted norm to stay with the organisation as long as possible. Build up your reputation, your credibility, your experience and stay loyal to your employer. The social contract of loyalty between employer and employee is disappearing. Permanent positions are no longer a guarantee of a job for life. Up to 50% of employees leave a job within year one, because their expectations were not met in terms of role and training.

Are you leaving the job you are doing, or the organisation you are working for?

This prompts the question of why people leave jobs. Perhaps the role was completely different to the one advertised, or the promised training and mentoring did not materialise. Sometimes personality clashes occur and there is no mechanism in place to deal with this. People constantly tell me that they like their job, they love the work they do, but they have a problem with other people, either work colleagues or management.

Before making any decisions to leave a job, it is essential that you stop, look around, research and make informed decisions. The grass may be greener sometimes, but this is not always the case. We need to examine why we are leaving, in more detail. Is it really about the work, or is there something we can do in order to make our lives in work more bearable or enjoyable? How we choose to react to other people is entirely within our remit, and small changes can often make big differences in the workplace.

When we start to research other jobs, we may find that the terms and conditions are not as good as we are currently enjoying. It is important to look at the small print, to speak to people working in the new organisation, and to compare both the organisations and the roles, before make a reactive decision.

Time spent with a career coach will assist you to carry out the type of research needed before you change organisation or job. Coaching will also help you to look at ways to stay in your existing job, but manage your time, your work and your reactions better, and therefore improvement your working environment.

If you have a career decision to make, contact Angela at Career Coaching Matters.



Choices and Opportunities – Decisions to be Made.

Secondary level education sound bites, still appear to focus solely on Third Level Options for students, despite the strong campaign to educate the public about alternative options.

Many second level students and their parents are still convinced that a Leaving Certificate student must go directly to a Third level college. “Any course in a third level college is better than the alternative” is still a comment we hear regularly from parents and students. The route to continue your education when you have completed your Leaving Certificate is not necessarily a straight road, with only one destination.  It can be circuitous, or possibly like the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ from the Wizard of Oz, where real learning and personal development takes place.

The decisions you make after Leaving Certificate will not determine the rest of your life, but will impact on the next year or two, or perhaps four. At any time in your life, you have the power to change direction and to make new choices.

The following options are available to you after you complete your second level education. You may choose one or two of these options now, and later on choose a third option. You are not limited to only one choice for life. Each route has many benefits. It is important to choose the option(s), which work for you and complement your learning style.

  1. Further Education Course. Post Leaving Cert Course. (PLC course)
  2. Apprenticeship Course.
  3. Third Level Course.       
  4. Employment – Part Time or Full Time.

Some people find it easy to choose their next steps in life. For many of us, we find it difficult to make choices. We are afraid of making mistakes, of getting it wrong, or disappointing others. In the end, all of us have to make our own decisions, take responsibility for those decisions and live with the consequences. It is part of life, of growing up and living our lives. The best way to make good decisions is by ensuring that our decisions are well informed:- Informed by quality research, where we ask relevant questions, where we analyse the information and we make decisions based on the evidence, and often combined with our ‘gut’ instincts.

We are never too young to begin research, to learn about ourselves and to discover what we want and why we want it. At Career Coaching Matters, we start this process with learners from every age group, for indeed we are all learners in this life. We go to school every day until we leave this earth.

Career Coaching Matters offers supports and challenges via mentoring and coaching for people who wish to develop personal insight, in order to engage with education, training and employment.

Please contact Angela for an appointment.

Making a Difference.

Sometimes I spend hours with clients, mentoring, coaching and helping them prepare for career and education challenges. Often, I wonder if I have made a difference! Have I done enough? Could I have opened up a few more avenues, practiced a few more scenarios? And then I remind myself, that my role as coach and mentor is about helping the client achieve their potential. I am not the athlete, I am not the job seeker, I am not the candidate.

In my role as a Career Coach, I can encourage and I can empathise. I can carry out research, I can look at new perspectives and I can get clients to examine, to question and to develop their own personal awareness. Together, we can explore the world of education, the range of new courses, the labour market and the changing world of work. I can work with a client to make a career and education plan. In the end, every client makes their own decisions. Every client has choices and opportunities. Each client decides whether to help themselves by implementing new changes or repeat previous behaviours and hope for the best.

The most successful clients are the ones invest time and energy in their career and education journey. We often joke about homework during a coaching session. Whether you work smarter or you work harder, one truth remains:- If you want to succeed you will need to put the work in. Of course, a little luck goes a long way too. But I think that we make our own luck.

  • Did you follow up your job application with a phone call to see how the recruitment process was shaping up?
  • Did you send an email after the interview to say thank you?
  • Did you send an email after the rejection letter, to let them know that you were still interested in working for the organisation – Possibly at a future date?
  • Did you really practice your interview questions and answers, until you knew that you could be your best self.
  • Did you do the background research on the the organisation?
  • Do you really know why you want the job?
  • Did you research the course material or the course delivery? Does it align with your preferred learning style?

During the last few months, I am delighted that many clients have contacted me to say that they got the job, the promotion, or the pay rise. It is great to hear that others have been called for interview against all the odds, and some has returned to education in order to expand their career opportunities. It is so wonderful to hear that a student is enjoying their chosen third level or further education course. The common denominator usually revolves around the work invested in by the client. If you want to make a difference in your life – If you want to change your career path or your education route – then the choice is yours. There is no quick fix. Engagement with the coaching process, combined with determination and work will reap real rewards.

Contact Career Coaching Matters for an appointment.


Researching and Exploring Courses

Attending Career Expo’s and Higher Options events should not be left until students are in their final leaving certificate year. Attending these events  while students are more concerned with study and points,  leaves very little time for follow up research.

Leaving Cert students do not always have time to investigate the myriad of courses available, as they are concerned with working towards a points race.

It has become very evident to me that the skill of research is not embraced by second level students. The attraction to ‘The Headline Course or the Popular College’ is gaining huge traction. Quality research needs to start after Junior Cert. This research is not necessarily geared towards a Job or a Career, but rather focused on finding a course to study which will engage and interest each student, and provide an opportunity for the student to contribute to their own learning. That course may be a P.L.C. course or an Apprenticeship Course or a Third Level Course.

Exploring course opportunities is not just about the end goal. This is a fabulous learning journey which can be enjoyed.