Choosing a career you love may be one of the most important decisions you ever make, but when you’re wondering what to do with your life, the options can be a little overwhelming. There are so many choices and factors to consider, and there’s a good chance that the best job for you and your skill set is one you haven’t even considered yet. If you’re in need of some inspiration away from the usual traditional roles, here are some alternative career trajectories for women who think outside the box.
Use your skills for good at a non-profit
If you enjoy using the skills you have but you’re tired of the industry you work in, why not put those skills to good use and apply for a role at a non-profit organisation? From marketing to IT, HR to executive positions, non-profits offer a wide range of possible careers and you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re helping others in the process which makes heading to work every day all the easier and more fulfilling. It’s a chance to grow your skills, meet like-minded people and work towards a shared mission you’re passionate about.
Learn a trade
Learning a trade means learning a skill that will set you up for the rest of your life, and there’s great earning potential too. For example, qualified electricians benefit from an average salary of over £30,000 and, with a skills shortage currently affecting the sector, there’s potential for electricians to charge considerably more, making it a lucrative opportunity. If you’ve always liked the idea of being your own boss, becoming a skilled tradesperson is a brilliant route to take and it’s a field that is lacking skilled female workers. If you enjoy challenges, love working with people and want the opportunity to build your career in an industry that’s continually in demand, learning a trade could be for you.
Get creative as an urban planner
Urban planners are responsible for looking at the bigger picture of what an area could look like, and it’s a forward-thinking sector where your work can impact countless people every day. As an urban planner, you get to design the very environment people live and work in, working with a whole host of different people, from politicians to community members and developers to bring ideas together. This is a career where you can make a real difference, and while it requires training and a dedicated qualification, the earning potential is high and the job satisfaction is huge.
Protect businesses as an ethical hacker
Love IT, facing complex challenges and helping people? A career as an ethical hacker could be on the cards for you. There are so many organisations around the world today in need of professional hackers to help them protect their data and keep IT systems safe, and as technology evolves and becomes even more integral to our lives, the demand for these roles gets higher. It’s a role that suits self-motivated people with a strong sense of ethics and technical ability, and salaries for this type of role can wind up in the six figure range for more senior positions.
Help people tell stories with podcast production
Creative minds with a talent for researching and problem solving may love the world of podcast production. Millions of people turn to podcasts every day for information and entertainment, and as a producer, you can be in charge of recording, editing and managing the stories that people tune into. You’ll be overseeing the whole process, from initial idea through to hitting publish and putting an episode out into the world, and every day is different as the stories you’re telling and the ideas you come up with vary depending on the topic of the show.
Tips for changing career path
In many cases, retraining is the obvious route to a new career, but it’s not always possible or practical to simply quit your job and head back to the classroom. But there are other alternatives to making a career change.Temping can be a great way to get your foot in the door, helping you to make valuable contacts, get a feel for what a job entails and enabling you to keep your ear to the ground for any opportunities as they arise. It can also help you gain skills that you can use to apply for roles when they come available.
Side hustles are another way to start building your skill set while you’re working, so you’re not losing out on a regular income but you’re still building up your portfolio in preparation for a new career opportunity. They can be popular for making a bit of extra cash on top of your main source of income, but offer the additional benefit of helping you gain valuable skills and building your network of contacts.
This freelancing in your free time approach will not only help you to learn how to work in a new industry, but also give you clarity on whether it’s something you really want to do. You may find through working in a new sector that there’s another role you enjoy more, and this could reroute your plans completely. It’s a great way of testing the waters and trying jobs on for size, before you commit. And when you do decide to take a career leap you’ll feel better prepared with the skills and experience behind you.
You can also consider moves within your existing company. Perhaps a role has come up in another department or office that you like the look of. Speak to your manager about moving into a different role and see what possibilities there are for you with your current employer.
Don’t limit yourself to the traditional
If you’re ready to carve out a more unconventional career path for yourself, these roles are a great place to gather inspiration. There are so many industries to explore but thinking outside the box or looking at sectors where specific roles are in demand can help you narrow down your search.
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I’m Samantha Jameson, the Founder of British hand, bath and body care brand, Soapsmith.
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