So you want to change careers? Been in the same field and now you think you want a change. Well, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that is can be done - 38% of our clients do just that. The bad news is that most of the recruiters in America won't touch you if you are not vertically integrated and following the same path.
Why? Because recruiters representing corporate America have been told to present candidates that have exact skills in exact field areas that are known with predictable results. So, here you come telling them that you are capable of bringing more to the table in an area you haven't worked directly in and have little title experience in that area. Tough is one word, but courage is the other.
Do you remember the old expression - "It isn't what you say but how you say it"? Well, that is absolutely true when it comes to changing careers.
To ever be considered for any position, much less in another industry your transferable skills, core competencies, value propositions must be stated and easily understood and you must clearly demonstrate that you bring to the company "table" something that will definitely contribute to their top or bottom line.
Corporations are concerned about profit, positive change, growth and whether someone they hire can make an immediate impact on the above items. When you can demonstrate this, they will take a chance. We have had dozens of clients change careers and industries because they clearly demonstrated their core competencies and value and demonstrated how those would contribute to corporate objectives.
Most people will change jobs at least 5-10 time in their careers, depending upon their field and industry. Unfortunately, most people just stumble into these new careers, many times by happenstance and not planning. Up till now, no one taught a job seeker how to do this, it just happened somehow. This is where a good career coach or counselor becomes invaluable.
Here are a few ideas to focus on with your career coach.
- Try to define your motivation for the change and also work on defining your core values and how they might bring something to the "table".
- Figure out who you are and why they should hire you. They want to hire you, just give them the ammunition to do so by defining your core competencies, the value you bring, key qualifications and most importantly, how good you are at what you do.
- Talk to a lot of people. Get ideas, share ideas, and ask a lot of questions, both inside and outside of your targeted industry. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish, where you want to go, and even your thoughts on how you want to get there. Then, work with your coach on separating the "wheat from the chaff" and then put that into a plan of action. Then, go do it!
- Network, Network, Network! Search online for everything you can about specific "movers and shakers'" in a given industry and then try to contact them for their advice and input. Basically, people want to help others. It just makes them feel good so use that human inclination to your advantage. (Editor's note: check out Simply Hired's social networking job search tools.)
- Conduct a multi-channel marketing job search using every means at your disposal.