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Recommended Career Change Resources – UK

In working with clients over several years, I have created my list of recommended career change resources in the UK that I believe to be most relevant for executives in transition. I did not include this information in my book, 12 Steps to a New Career, because I realized the only way I could keep that information current would be to make it available on this website.

Researching career change resources relevant to executives in the UK can quickly become overwhelming. If you have been doing all your research on the Internet already, you probably know that the vast majority of the information is not relevant to what you want to know.

Please use these Recommended Career Change Resources as a source to start your research. It will help you focus on what you want to know. If you find a particular resource is no longer available or if you find another resource that you think should be listed, please let me know and I will amend this document. You will be helping others, as well.

The research below is separated into the following two sections: Researching Companies and Industries and Researching Self-Employment Options

A.   Researching Companies and Industries

Research companies before you attempt to contact them or when you need to prepare for an interview. If you are considering making a change from one industry to another, this summary will help you decide where to focus your time more effectively.

1.   Company websites

Go directly to a company’s website and browse around looking for information that is of particular interest to your job or career search objectives. This helps you to get a feel for the company because what they put up on their website is important to them and what they think should be important to you. Go to their About Us page or look for the Site Map to find pages that are of interest. Check out their Newsroom or Public Relations section and read press releases.

If it is a publicly-held company, check out the Investor Relations or Investor Information section on their website. You often will find a link to their annual report.

2.   Company filings or registrations with governmental organizations

3.   Online and print publications

Go to the websites of information publishers and various print and online media and do a search on an industry or a specific company. Most of the websites require that you register but there is no charge for a basic level of service. If you want more details, you will have to pay a fee. And, the information may not always be current. Consequently, I suggest you use them only as sources of topical information on current issues. The sites that might be worth a try are:

4.   Library

Visit your local library or, better still, a larger regional one. Get a library card. It’s free. That card will enable you to access a large amount of data that will only be available to you through the library. Your taxes enable libraries to subscribe to data providers that are not available to you individually or may only be available to you online if you subscribe and pay a substantial fee.

Most libraries have a reference desk staffed by people who make it their business to help you find information you want to know. They can often point you in the right direction by knowing the best source of information for what you need. By asking you the right questions, they can also help you narrow your search and reduce the time you might otherwise have spent on your own.

Using your library card, there are two ways you can conduct research online:

  • Libraries subscribe to a large amount of data sources that may only be available to you using computer terminals at the library. You will be able to conduct research, create lists, and, for a nominal cost, print information on their printers.
  • You will be able to log on to the library’s website remotely and conduct research using the data services the library has subscribed to where the publisher permits remote access. You may not be able to access all the information the library has but you should be able to gather most of what you need. You will then only need to go to the library for information you cannot access remotely.

If you are searching for companies with a specific business focus or you are making a career change to a different industry and you are using US reference material, you will want to focus on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and then develop lists of companies that show that code for the locations where you want to work. Someone might refer to it as the SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) Code as that was what it was called prior to 1997.

Go to the Reference Desk at your local library and explain what you want to find. If the librarian seems unclear, mention some of the sources listed below. That should get them started.

  • Britain’s Top Foreign Owned Companies by Jordan & Sons Ltd. Lists 3,000 foreign owned companies with rankings for various criteria. Includes name, address, phone/fax, business description, chief executive and foreign affiliates.
  • Britain’s Top Privately Owned Companies by Jordan & Sons Ltd. Lists 10,000 companies alphabetically, by sales volume, and by net tangible assets. The top 2,000 companies are listed by various other categories. Alphabetical listing includes name, address, phone/fax, business description, and chief executive.
  • Directory of Directors by Hemscott PLC. Section 1 lists 50,000 directors of major British companies showing company name, address and other company affiliations. Section 2 lists director names by business code (US SIC), and Section 3 lists the details of 16,000 companies listed alphabetically with contact details and limited financial information for the last three years.
  • FAME (Financial Analysis Made Easy) – Maintains a financial information database that most libraries access through Business Insight. You must use this service at the library and there is a fee for use depending on the type of information retrieved.
  • Key British Enterprises by Dun & Bradstreet. Annual four-volume reference set listing company information on over 50,000 major companies in the UK. Includes director and other key management contacts, lines of business, SIC (US) codes, sales, profits, number of employees with cross-references by SIC codes, town or county, alphabetical listings, and rankings for top 5,000 in the same categories. The print edition should be available in most libraries and the online version will be at most larger ones.
  • Kompass published annually in 5 volumes by Kompass UK (Reed Business Information). Includes corporate information on over 100,000 industrial companies.
  • Major Companies of Europe by Graham & Whiteside (Thomson – Gale) is published annually in 4 volumes. Includes alphabetical listing of companies showing contact details, principal activities, products and services, parent, subsidiaries, and other information. Most libraries carry the print edition.
  • Who Owns Whom (United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland) by Dun & Bradstreet. Published annually in 2 volumes and updated quarterly. Includes information on UK companies with parent ownership and subsidiaries.

The library will have what you are looking for or they can suggest another reference book that they have in print version. Ask about what reference material they have online and have them show you how to access their material using the library’s computers. In addition to just looking at the information, you will be able to get lists sorted on pre-defined criteria and be able to print them for your own use. Perform some searches to see what is available and what information you can get. The listings should also indicate whether the resource material is available at another more central library, a regional or local library, or from your home computer.

B.   Researching Self-Employment Options

 1.   General information

You can find helpful information about self-employment or starting a new business at:

2.   Consultancy

You can get help and information on starting a consultancy by beginning your search at the following websites:

3.   Small business

You can get help and information on starting a small business by beginning your search at the following websites:

4.   Franchise

You can get help and information on starting a small business by beginning your search at the following websites:

DOWNLOAD PDF: Reference 4.1b – Career Change Resources – UK