Ask Jen

911 for Switching Careers

 

Hi Jen,

I would like to start a new career and really would love to go into a field completely different from my current experience. Is there a way for me to tailor my skill set to fit the field I want or even gain the experience I need? I’m ready for a change!

Thanks,

Seeking to Switch in San Antonio

 

Dear Seeking to Switch,

Not to worry. There are a few things you can do in this situation! Tailoring your current skills may not be as hard as you think. Just read the job ad or job description and look to see what requirements and skills are listed. Identify the transferable skills and determine which ones you have.

Then showcase those transferable skills or transferable areas of expertise to let the employer know that you are not only the best candidate for the job, but you can hit the ground running. “Because of my experience with ___ project, I could easily transfer those ____ skills to ABC company.”

Now, when it comes to gaining new experience, consider a “stepping stone” job or volunteer experience. The job could be temporary, part-time, freelance, full-time, or on a consulting basis. The stepping stone will allow you to build the skills and experiences you need to move in a new direction. You probably won’t be able to get there overnight—yes, it is a process—but you can start to lay a foundation toward your new career path.

Best of luck!

Hook ‘em,

Jen

* Be sure your Texas Exes membership is current before using Career Services or registering for a teleclass. Submit your career-related question to Jen at askjen@alumni.utexas.edu.

Illustration by Ashley Solano

 

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