Fed up with your job? You can make the leap but take a good look first

Sorry guys this one is just a bit of  shameless self promotion here and an old article that I managed to get published in the Independent last year (with a little help from my friends!).

Lee Paines always dreamt of earning a living from sport, but he spent more than a decade toiling away at an engineering firm before finally plucking up the courage to quit his job and follow his heart. The football and martial arts enthusiast devoted his free time to studying for a qualification in sports massage therapy before giving in his notice and turning his passion into a full-time occupation.

“I had a good, stable job and income but wasn’t enjoying it any more so decided to go back to college,” recalls Lee, 34, from Swindon. “Once I qualified I started the business part time – working in the evenings after work to build up a client base.”

He also concentrated on getting his name known in the area by distributing business cards and launching his own website, www.leepaines.co.uk, on which he provides details of his services alongside health and fitness tips. Since taking the leap into self-employment, Lee has gone from operating a mobile service to working out of a top-class hotel in Swindon and then on to his own self-contained unit where he can train and treat clients.

“Even when you have a client base you’re never quite sure when the phone is going to ring, but although things were uncertain for a few months it’s been well worthwhile,” he adds. “I’ve even qualified as a personal trainer as well for an added dimension.” Despite the costs involved – he sold his car to help cover the £6,000 for qualifications and the similar amount spent on equipment – Lee has no regrets. “I would tell other people who want a career change to plan their exit strategy and go for it!”

According to Catherine Roan, managing director of the website Careershifters.org (www.careershifters.org), the two most common reasons to begin searching for a new direction are wanting more fulfilment and being made redundant.

“Many people have been doing the same job for a number of years but want to do something that really makes a difference,” she explains. “It’s either making them completely miserable or just not using any of their skills.”

For those that find themselves out of work it’s a slightly different situation. These individuals may be more than happy in their current careers but are in an industry that may be shrinking quickly and the chances of getting an alternative position are slim.

“Some people will have a burning ambition of what they want to do with their lives but the majority aren’t sure – they just know they want to be doing something different,” she adds. “They know they’re unhappy and are looking for a solution.”

So what can those who find themselves in this situation do about it? What steps do they need to take to get on a more suitable career path – and is there a danger of believing that the grass is going to be greener elsewhere?

To read the full article follow this link to the Independent

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