Saturday 11 August 2012

All Stars Guest Post by Deborah: Career Change with a Filofax

I am delighted that Deborah of Thoughts & Exploration agreed to write a guest post for me as part of the 2012 Philofaxy All Stars Tour. I think you'll enjoy reading about a subject close to my heart - using a Filofax to make things happen. Afterwards, be sure to visit Deborah's excellent blog.

Thank you, Ray, for letting me guest post on your blog as part of Philofaxy's All Stars Tour! And thank you for doing an All Stars guest post on my blog, Thoughts & Exploration. After you read this, go take a look at Ray's guest post!  

I read Ray's blog on a regular basis and have picked up a lot of useful information that I've adopted for my own use, so I'm happy to make my little contribution here by writing about how I will be using my Filofax to help bring about much needed changes in my professional life. I wrote a little bit about this needed change on my blog in a post called When I'm On My Deathbed. I know, pretty sullen, huh? Well, like I said, it's time for a change!

What better way to plan out this change than to do it in my beloved Filofax?! I have created a section in my Personal-sized Filofax that now has four different worksheets that I'll use to help me make a career change.  

I decided to use a rainbow icon as my tab for this section - I think it's appropriate! The thought of a rainbow makes me happy and that's what I want to do, make myself happy in my career. This first worksheet ("Skills and Field"…a name I made up) was suggested to me by Cloudberry (I'm sorry, I don't actually know your real name).  She suggested that I make a table with four squares and that I list my current skills and new skills needed as they pertain to my current field and the possible new field.  I think the picture explains it a bit better.  This will let me think about what is possible based on my current capacity and what I may need to do in order to move forward to a new career.  She explained that it is hard to jump from the "Current skills/current field" square (bottom left) diagonally up to the "New skills/New field" square (top right).  Doing this exercise will give me an idea of how to go about finally reaching that new skills/new field area.

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I'll work on that exercise while also doing my "Thoughts" worksheet:

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This is where I plan to just brainstorm the pros and cons of staying where I am versus looking for something new. I'll list some of the jobs/careers that interest me and then some of the pros and cons for each. I'm hoping that by the time I've worked on these first two sheets, I'll have a focus; a goal towards which to work.

Once I've narrowed down my interest(s), I'll use my "Job Search" pages to start, job search! These pages will give me a snapshot of the different agencies that are hiring and the positions that I'm interested in pursuing. It'll keep me on track so that an application or opportunity doesn't fall through the cracks.

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And then there is my last page.  I'll use my "Interview Prep" pages to help me prepare for any interviews. I'll do my homework on the agency/position here so that I'll be able to sound like I know what I'm talking about. I'll have my questions ready and I'll remember to write down the names of the interviewers so that I can follow-up with thank you letters after the interview.

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Yes, I haven't actually started to fill in these pages, but I will!! I think I'm off to a good start and having it all together in my Filofax will help me stay focused. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has suggestions for any changes that I should consider making to my worksheets or if I'm missing something.

Thanks again, Ray, for letting me do this post! I fear that my handwritten pages aren't nearly as nice as the fabulous forms that you create but they'll do the job. I should take it as a hint that I shouldn't apply for a position where I'll need to create forms! 

Thanks, Deborah, for an excellent post. Please keep us updated on your progress.


ArtJournal88 said...

great post, i´m very interested in the topic as I plan a change, too (well, still more day-dreaming about it, to be honest..). The questions you wrote down are very helpful, thanks!

DEM said...

ArtJournal88 - I'm glad that you found it helpful. I tried to put together sheets that will help me keep all the information in one place. I wish you the best of luck with your change, whenever that might occur.

Unknown said...

I think you are off to a fabulous start! i have left a longer comment on your original post about how I made that lifestyle change for a better work / life balance,

Laura said...

I did something similar to this in my filofax recently, since I have just finished my degree. I had a month per page which I printed myself (just July and august) where I could write down deadlines for applications, just for quick reference, and wrote 'DL' in my usual diary so I wouldn't forget to check what was coming up.
I also had a page with useful websites, some info about potential training courses, a short to do list (reminding me which applications to fill in/chase up etc.), some copies of my cv and some notepaper for jotting things down as I find them.
For any interviews I would print out the job spec and make notes on it so that I had it to refer to on the day. It all must have worked as I have a job starting in September!
Good luck with your career change :)

DEM said...

Thank you, Helen! I appreciate your feedback! It is inspiring to read about others who have done it.

DEM said...

Congrats on your career change! I wish you all the best! I'm happy to know that I'm on the right path!

Cloudberry said...

Excellent post. Hope you find the four box grid useful!

DEM said...

Thank you, Lynn! I really appreciate the suggestion!


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