The great escape: how to broaden your career options

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It’s time to plan your escape route – like a nine-to-five Steve McQueen, we all need options that’ll allow us a great escape from our career path if we desire a fresh start. But you don’t need to hide soil in your undies to start afresh in the job market. All you need is to keep your options open.

Making sure you’ve got an ejector seat at the ready is more important than earning a larger pay packet – your personal happiness could be at stake.

In a survey of 2,000 people, it was found that 69 per cent of those questioned feel trapped in the same old routine, while 40 per cent are unhappy with their lives.

A number of them will have made the same mistake – they won’t have developed enough skills to make themselves saleable in the job market.

Don’t become a rut-dweller like these people. Try developing a few of the following skills, either via an online degree, time at university or even as a simple hobby. Here are a few of your options.

Learn a language

There’s a cliché about Brits and Americans – we’ve got a general inability (or lack of inclination) to become bilingual. Instead, we’ll make crude hand signals to anyone from a foreign country in the hope that they’ll start speaking English on command.

As far as clichés go, this one’s is pretty close to the truth – only a quarter of Britons can speak another language.

This widespread ignorance leaves a gap in the market if you’re working in the UK. With a second language under your belt, you’ll have an advantage over three-quarters of the population – and you’ll pique the interest of employers across the country, especially those with international business partners.

Organise events

Gigs, film evenings, clubs and voluntary organisations – they all require someone to coordinate them. That person is usually a self-starter who understands the commitment required to pull off an event without a hitch.

Organising events on your own illustrates an all-round skillset and sense of leadership which will impress bosses. So find a passion, get other people involved and watch your currency in the marketplace soar.

Get artistic

Not everyone can be Picasso or Salvador Dali – but developing an artistic sensibility has its own inherent advantages.

Whether you’re a dab hand at writing, painting or crafts, having an artistic bent can help you think in more abstract terms, improving your ability to brainstorm in meetings and increasing your usefulness in a creative environment.

So, don a painter’s pinafore and get cracking on an easel – it could help you gain the job of your dreams.