Changing jobs has its challenges, but changing fields is a whole other matter. No matter how much theoretical knowledge you may possess, the bottom line is that hiring managers really like you to have experience. That doesn’t mean you should let your lack of experience deter you from taking a risk and trying something new. Everyone has to start somewhere, and jumping through a few hoops in the short term can really pay off for your long-term happiness.
Let’s say you’ve been working in IT for 10 years, and you’d really like to move to a new field of information technology. While you’ve studied up on your own and feel you’ve got a good understanding of the field, you don’t have any actual work experience. How do you proceed?
First, keep in mind that if you’ve been a strong performer and are highly valued in your current position, this will speak volumes to hiring managers. That’s because employers are smart enough to choose a sure bet over someone with a perfect skillset who doesn’t have a clear history of always delivering. So make sure you’ve got measurable results to show, as well as recommendations from bosses and colleagues.
Your past success isn’t all you’ll need, if you want to change fields. Make sure you invest in any classes that can help get you fully up to speed on the required skills. You can also join professional organizations and attend events to learn about what’s going on in the field. List these classes and organizations on your resume.
Another great idea is to request a meeting with a hiring manager or recruiter. Without having to be selected for a formal interview, you’ll frame it as a conversation. You can then discuss your goals, and how what you’re working on now relates to what’s required in your new field.
Finally, don’t give up. It may take a little time to make the change, but if you keep at it, it will happen.
Looking for new opportunities in your field, or in a brand new one? We love hearing from qualified candidates. Check out job openings at companies all over the country with TRC Staffing Services, Inc.