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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Back-to-work blues?
Back-to-work blues
Is your career in the doldrums?
By BBC News Online's personal finance reporter Sarah Toyne

Are you pleased to be back at work after the holidays? Or has a summer holiday made you think about your job, your life and where you are heading?

September and October are the busiest months of the year for recruiters - and the newspapers are usually full of job adverts.

It seems that no sooner have people sipped their last cocktail, and said goodbye to their sun-tan that life back at that desk, in that office and listening to that boss simply will not do.

HAVE YOUR SAY Kick-start your career

So how can you get a more fulfilling job, a change of career or simply be happier where you are working?

You may be a new graduate who is daunted by that "whole work thing", a mum who needs to work again or maybe career decisions have been forced upon you through redundancy.

BBC News Online's series "Kick-start your career" is aimed at helping anyone who has the 'back to work blues' or simply needs a new job.

Changing workplace

Shorter-term contracts and greater uncertainty have now replaced the concept of a "job for life" for most working people.

Roger Opie
Roger Opie of the Industrial Society

According to the Industrial Society, people can expect to change careers up to seven times in their lives.

The market place has also become much more competitive and employers more specific about their requirements.

Stevie Martin, a career consultant at Connexions West of England, a career advice centre says: "People should look at getting career advice in the same way they would go to their doctor, or hairdresser."

But while most schools and universities offer career services for their students, it can be much harder for older people - especially if an employer does not offer such a service.

Government progress?

The government's Learning and Skills Council (LSC) ,which was set up in April, will eventually offer advice through its local branches.

But the LSC can not give a start date for these services.

Roger Opie, director of education at the Industrial Society says there is an urgent need to provide good information at a local level.

He says: "Once you get into the working population - you are in your mid-20s, 30s and 40s upwards - it can be difficult.

"There is a lot [of information and resources] out there, but people don't know where to get the information."

BBC News Online's series will aim to point people in the right direction.

Tell us about your experiences at work - if you have kick-started your career, successfully changed direction or any other tips you have for job seekers.

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Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
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