At the moment, there will be many people considering whether to move jobs for an increase in income, or stay with their current employer, working the same hours. This decision can feel overwhelming as there are benefits to both which can have an impact on our finances and mental health.
Thankfully, there is helpful information available on how we can lower our spending and increase our income that we can implement in the here and now.
But what if you are enjoying your job? What if your job suits your caring responsibilities? What if you like your colleagues, customers and managers? What if your current job gives you security? The list could go on…
These are all incredibly valuable reasons to not make a move, or increase working hours. In the short and longer term, making no reactive changes can have huge benefits for our mental health.
However, there are still things we can do to secure and even increase the possibility of an increase in our future wages which can also be considered as self-care. The Mind Five Ways to Wellbeing, promotes ‘keep learning’ as a way to meet new people and boost our self-confidence.
Here are a few ideas on how to achieve this in the workplace:
Reflect on your current job
What do you enjoy? What roles are there in your place of work you would like to work towards or learn more about? Do you have a new career in mind? If so, what skills and experience might you need?
Once you know what skills or experience you want to gain, you can start to look at where the opportunities are.
Try using a timeline to acknowledge the beginning of your journey and when you can expect an income change (i.e. when you have a qualification or experience). This can be motivating and give us purpose.
Gain a certificate or embark on training through your employer
Personally I would never take this up lightly. Working towards a qualification can be hard work. Where possible, speak with your manager as they may be able to support your development. It is becoming increasingly common that employers have training programmes for staff to help retain their workforce and make the workplace somewhere employees want to stay.
Look into what training, apprenticeships and projects you could potentially commit to within your workplace that will give you the right skills to make a career move. Employers can be offered grants or take part in training schemes.
Gain experience whilst you work
New work experiences that will increase career opportunities can put us more in control of our future earnings. We can also meet new people within the organisation or external partners and be given the opportunity to network and find out what other skills we have. This can be a real boost for our wellbeing and confidence.
If this is additional work alongside your current job then agree a time commitment with your employer so you stay in control of what you can offer and it is on your terms.
Think about whether you need to consider a career change
Inevitably self-reflection can highlight a career change might be needed. You may not be able to gain skills or training with your current employer but there are some high quality free and discounted courses that can help you with your career decision making and development. There are also free training courses to improve maths and English and more technical skills like marketing, ICT and health.
Free course providers include:
You might also be eligible for government grants or bursaries for further education. Specific sectors such as health and education also have grants available. Visit gov.uk to find out more.
Need further help? Check if you’re eligible for employment support from Work Well.