That’s one of the many positive aspects of the professional world. You are the one who controls your career and decides what direction it takes.
Many people think that just because they studied in a specific field they are not able to apply for a job that is not directly related or just because of their professional path they can’t get a job that is not exactly like the one they had before. The only person holding you back is yourself! We have too many preconceived ideas that stop us from doing what we really want.
Let’s analyse the situation a bit more. You can have two different scenarios.
You want a position in the same area as the one you are already working in such as marketing, finance or sales for instance. You have the necessary background knowledge and a range of skills that enable you to be efficient and pro-active in this field. However, you have to work on two weak points:
Let’s take the case of someone who is a marketing executive and would like to get a job in public relations. Your position is not exclusively focused on PR but you deal with it as part of the marketing strategy. This is something you can get around. You are not an expert but you do have the necessary knowledge to do well in that job and bring new experience to the position. The fact that your current job is more generalist enables you to have a better overview of the company’s communication strategy. You know how to integrate the different marketing functions into projects which can make your decisions more strategic and forward-thinking.
Work on your CV to highlight the relevant experiences and tasks you’ve taken care of so far and that are related to the position you are applying for. Detail the projects you’ve worked on to show the interviewer you know what the job is about and that you have the required skills to do it.
If you think there is a knowledge gap, why not take a class? You have a large range of evening classes on various topics which could give you the boost you need to feel more confident. This could also be eye catching to the perspective employers as it shows your motivation and that you are taking the initiative to develop and improve your skill set.
A good idea is also to follow the news on a daily basis and stay aware of what’s going on in that sector so that the interviewer doesn’t catch you off guard if he asks a question regarding a recent event. Last but not least, your activities outside work and your interests if related to the job you want can definitely make a good impact during the interview. Do not forget to mention it when it comes to your motivation.
Be well prepared and ready to explain why you think you would be an ideal candidate for the position and how your professional experiences to date are an advantage.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a career change. Whether you feel you’ve covered every angle of your job or you are not interested in what you do anymore, deciding to take a fresh start will always pay off. You have to remember that you spend most of your life working so you better do something you like! Do what makes you happy and you will only be better at your job.
Here are a few tips to succeed. If you want a position you’ve never held before and which is in a totally different area than the one you’ve been working in, you have to accept that you will have to start at the bottom. Do not expect to get a role with responsibilities at the beginning. Firstly, you will need to get familiar with the sector and develop the necessary technical skills. Even if you have several years’ experience doing another job, put aside your ego and think that this is what it takes to reach your objective. Prove yourself and climb the ladder to get the job you aspire to have.
You have to be ready to explain to the interviewer why you want to change career. Do not be negative about your current job. You can mention a will to discover something new, that you are looking for new challenges etc… They will ask you why you want the job you are being interviewed for. Highlight what you like about it and which aspects make you want to make a career in that field. Be convinced of what you say and motivated about this new career opportunity. That’s the key!
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