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Changing careers and retraining

Changing Careers
A job change due to ill health or injury ranks as a highly stressful experience. It is common to go through a cycle of shock, denial, anger, feelings of not being in control, guilt and loss of confidence. Even a person determined to face life's challenges with optimism will need time to adjust. Trying to think creatively about your future career may be hard until you have had time to come to terms with any uncomfortable or painful feelings.

Changing careers can be an exhilarating experience too; the excitement of taking control and the relief at breaking away from an unhappy work situation. It can be an opportunity to set some goals and have a vision that will give your life more direction, more purpose and be more rewarding. With the increasing pace of technology and an end to "jobs for life" almost everybody is going to be asked questions about what kind of career and life they really want.

Hasty decisions to give up work are not recommended until all alternative options have been investigated. In discussion with you, your employer should explore:

  • reasonable adjustments: e.g. the use of alternative technology to get round most ergonomical problems
  • reducing working hours
  • varying workloads
  • job share and reallocating duties within a team
  • giving you time off for rehabilitation purposes (e.g. physiotherapy appointments)
  • offer training in the use of equipment
  • redeployment within the organisation

If after considering the above options, you find none of them are viable, then you may decide to change your career.