New Year new career

George Adams.
George Adams.

Perhaps when making your new year’s resolutions, you’ve given some thought to making a change of job or career, but adverse weather at this time of year might be putting you off visiting the Department for Employment and Learning’s (DEL) Careers Service for advice.

This year, for the first time, you can avoid the elements and speak to careers staff online using the new Careers Webchat facility. George Adams, careers manager for Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne, explains:

“Clients can now access careers services directly from their laptop, PC or mobile device without the need to travel to a local Careers office. The ‘Careers Webchat’ service is available Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm. To chat with careers staff, go to: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers and click on the “Chat with a Careers Adviser” button.

“‘Careers Webchat’ is an instant messaging service which allows real-time communication to take place between anyone requiring careers advice and Careers Service staff, similar to a “live” email where the client and adviser can ask and respond to questions immediately. This new initiative forms part of DEL’s commitment to improve client access to the services we provide and builds upon the work currently ongoing within the Careers Service to enhance communication via interactive web services and the use of social media.

“The new service will help to assist in reaching those clients who may have barriers accessing careers services in the traditional office setting, for example those with a disability or who are living in rural locations. In addition, it will also be a more convenient access channel for people in work needing advice on up-skilling or changing career. Furthermore, the anonymity of the service has an appeal for those customers who may lack confidence, or have other barriers, which could deter them from engaging face-to-face.

“If you are considering changing career, don’t limit yourself to specific types of jobs. Spend some time researching the types of careers that you think you would like. The Careers Service website, www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers, has a range of online software tools to assist you including a Careers A-Z database with over 1,800 career titles, career matching tools, a CV builder tool, and numerous general information articles.

“I would urge anyone, of whatever age, seeking careers information, advice or guidance to go online at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers and chat with the Careers Service now.”

You can also contact the Careers Service by phone on 0300 200 7820 or by email on csni@delni.gov.uk. Find your local careers office by logging onto www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers. This site also carries extensive information on education, skills and training.