Changing Careers

Changing careers can be exciting. As with any career and job hunt, you need to work hard. You may have to work harder than other job seekers. These tips will make it easier for you.

The keys:

  • Prove that you can do the job (as any job seeker would).

  • Convince the employer that you can do the job.

"Duh," right. It is harder than it sounds. Employers are scared--they are worried that the next employee they hire might be an axe murderer or steal money--or leave fast, so they play it safe and don't take chances when hiring. Put yourself in their shoes. Think like an employer when you write your cover letter and resume (and LinkedIn profile).

  • Read the cover letter, resume page for ways to direct your cover letter and resume to the job to which you are applying. You will focus on "transferable skills," that is, skills you have that are also needed in your new career. By doing so you will be building a "compelling reason" for being hired.

  • It is essential that you network and research the field. (We will be adding a section on networking.) That term makes some people nervous--they don't think they know anyone or know what to do.

How Networking Can Work

Say you found a career that you want to go into. You've read everything that you can about it, but you want to learn more. By networking, you have the opportunity to talk to someone and get answers to those questions. You can ask questions such as, What's the culture? What happened to the previous person on the job (or is it a new position)? Who else can I talk to about the position?


Rule: If you can read it online, etc., don't ask it in a networking meeting (also known as an informational interview). Remember, you need to create a good impression. You do that by being respectful and by showing that you have done your homework--read everything you could find about the company, job or career. There's more and I will add information about the structure of an informational interview; last question to ask; finding the right people, etc. (Hint: The last question is usually, "Can you recommend anyone else with whom I can speak.)

As I wrote, I will be writing more. I have more than 20 years of experience to add to this site and I am writing as fast as I can.

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