Career and Knowing If It’s Time To Move On

Have you reached a point in your career where you feel it is time to move on?

This morning I participated in the Learning and Development Chat on Twitter (#LDInsight.) The question posed was a really interesting one:

“How did you decide that a career in L&D or OD was for you?”

It was fascinating to see the many and varied routes through which my many L&D/OD connections have arrived in their current roles and careers.

I shared a little of my own story. My career started in Personal and Corporate Banking in the days when human beings made lending decisions rather than computers! I initially got involved in training through my membership of an external organisation Junior Chamber International which at the time was the largest out-of-hours management training organisation for young professionals.

I then spent some time in Rome discerning if I had a Vocation to the Priesthood which as it transpired I didn’t. However, that period of discernment and reflection enabled me to come to a realisation that I got the most satisfaction from training and helping others to be their best selves. So whilst I did not have a “Vocation” in the Priestly sense I discovered where I believe I have been able to have the greatest impact on others through Learning and Development.

One of my connections then asked a supplementary question which helped me, offline, to articulate some of my current thinking. That question from Niall Gavin was “and where next?”

For me it seems increasingly that my next move following my Career Break is to move on from Learning and Development. I have been amazed over recent weeks to discover that a lot of Hiring Managers within the HR/L&D space have become even more obsessed with “sector experience.” This was really brought home to me earlier this week when I received feedback after an interview that “You would be really great in the role; would fit in nicely here but unfortunately don’t have the experience in our sector.” Putting aside the question of why they would interview me when that is plainly obvious from my CV as one of my other connections commented it’s “mindboggling.” HR/L&D Hiring Managers say they want “fresh thinking and innovation” but only if it comes from their sector!

But, enough of that! As I said to some of my connections perhaps now is the Time to Move On! A career break has enabled me to provide support to Family Members, focus on my own Continuous Professional Development and add value to the community. It has given me a clearer sense of my own personal values, goals and objectives.

It has also allowed me to take stock, recharge, and explore areas of personal interests and how I can best use my skills, knowledge and experience to support an organisation and their people. If that is outside of Learning and Development – utilising the many skills I have developed over the years – then so be it.

Let’s see which door my skills open!

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