I’m unsure about which career direction to take

ea9c0e33-8f89-46d4-852a-74177fd8af24-620x372Twice a week we publish problems that will feature in a forthcoming Dear Jeremy advice column in the Saturday Guardian so that readers can offer their own advice and suggestions. We then print the best of your comments alongside Jeremy’s own insights. Here is the latest dilemma – what are your thoughts?

I’ve worked in the voluntary/public sector since graduating in 2007. I’m currently a social worker in mental health, and over the years have learned what’s important to me about where I work – work/life balance (flexitime and not bringing work home with me); competent, friendly colleagues; good management and structure; clear processes; good team dynamics; a professional, pleasant and aesthetically pleasing environment. Not too much to ask for surely!

I’m fed up with the ongoing challenges – we have to pay for parking permits although we have to go out on home visits, and yet aren’t guaranteed a parking space; no therapeutic resources are provided, so I buy them myself; IT and equipment regularly break; loo paper runs out in the toilets for visitors; the building needs demolishing. I could go on …

I’ve been keeping my eye out for jobs over the past year or so and have applied for a couple unsuccessfully.

I’d appreciate some ideas of how to gain a better view of what I want to do, and what would be feasible. I like the idea of retraining but can’t really afford it and have invested a lot of time and my own finances in my current career.