Career Change

Free online careers resources – part 3 – career change

Looking for a career change?

I have just had a very interesting time exploring a careers resource used in schools, colleges and universities, but which is also great for anyone seeking inspiration for a career change.  One of its unique features is the number of videos – over 1000 – of ‘real-life’ workers sharing their experiences about their career.

Transferable skills

The workers’ stories also help to dispel the myth that you need to have done certain things if you are ever to have a particular job – as their routes to their jobs are often anything but straightforward!  Of course, for some roles, you do need particular qualifications, but for many jobs it is the transferable skills that matter more to employers than your knowledge – examples of transferable skills being communication skills, leadership skills, teamwork, project management, problem solving, time management and so on, skills you develop as you progress through education, employment and training. So, if you are looking for a career change at 30, 40, 50, 60 or more, this resource would be an excellent place to start.

What job could I do?

I found it helpful to look up jobs by ‘Job Type’ (ie. sector) such as Energy and Utilities, Logistics and Transport, or ‘Subject’, such as Geography or Engineering.  This pulls up a number of videos for you to watch – around four minutes maximum in length. Information is also given on average salary, working week, male:female ratio in the UK, and any specific entry requirements. 

Where do I find it?

Explore Careers

My career coaching and advice sessions will help you identify your transferable skills and plan your career change route from where you are now to where you want to be.  It would be great to talk to you so please contact me for an informal chat and an idea of cost – no obligation and no pressure.  

Numerical reasoning test

Free online careers resources – part 2 – numerical reasoning tests

Numerical reasoning tests

I work at universities on a casual basis, helping out with careers work during particularly busy periods. I have come across students who are gutted because they have failed the numerical reasoning test which forms part of the recruitment process for a graduate scheme place.  The test is often one of a battery of tests required by the employer – others may be verbal reasoning or abstract reasoning, for example.  These tests tend to come early on in the assessment process, as a filter for applications, usually stage one or two of a six-stage process.  To be knocked out of the recruitment stage right at the beginning is a huge disappointment – and a shock – particularly if you have a high-grade maths GCSE or A level maths – and you weren’t expecting it to be a problem.  Jobs in engineering, data science, manufacturing and operations, and some management consultancy and city roles, are examples of when numerical tests may be used. 

What is numerical reasoning?

Numerical reasoning involves evaluating situations and drawing conclusions from the data provided. Topics could include fractions, decimals, percentages, algebra, graphs, charts, equations, averages, ratios – to show you understand numbers, can interpret data, are accurate and can read graphs and charts. You are generally given a time limit, and this is deliberately tight, which make the test challenging.

Practise, practise, practise

Even if you are good at maths or are doing/have done a degree with a lot of maths content, don’t assume it will be a walk in the park.  The chances are that you are out of practice with this type of maths and you will be slow. The thing to do is practise, practise, practise.  Your brain will become accustomed to the types of questions and layouts in different sorts of tests, your speed and accuracy will improve, and you will gain in confidence – this will calm your nerves.

Freebies

There are many free numerical reasoning tests online – here are some links to get you started.  In addition, have a look at the employer’s website as they may give you information about the tests they use, some tips and some practice questions.  Good luck!

Numerical reasoning test

Job test prep

Assessment day

Practice aptitude tests

I can create scenarios similar to those used in assessment centres to help you familiarise yourself with the activities and build your skills and confidence.  Because you will attend the assessment centre knowing what sort of things to expect, it means you will present yourself well and have a much better chance of being selected.  

The one-to-one sessions I offer can take place remotely now (and/or at my home office when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted).   Clients find that booking three separate one-hour sessions work best as this gives time to discuss personal strategies for excelling in different assessment centre activities (for example, aptitude tests, inbox exercises, group work, presentations, interviews), practise their approach, get feedback and review how effective they have been – and repeat!  If you find you cannot fit three sessions in, then fewer will most certainly still be of value.  Look forward to seeing you!

Just the Job

Thank you to County Woman & homefirst magazine for featuring me in the September 2013 edition, page 95!  It is great to receive publicity, especially locally, and to be included in such an interesting, informative and lively magazine.