Changing Careers

When my parents went to work after college they could reasonable expect to work for one company for their entire careers, and they did for 42 and 54 years respectively.  When I graduated college, it was assumed that my generation would work for 2-4 companies over our careers, predominately in the same field.  But as my children entered the workforce, it was predicted that they would have 3-5 different careers over their lifetime.

Organizations are much better today at recognizing strengths and transferrable skills.  The best organizations look past your specific experience and instead focus on talent, skills, and fit.  Do you have the ability to do what they need?  Do you have the skills required to be successful in that organization?  Do you fit with their culture and their team?  Those things, in that order, are way more important than where you worked or what you were responsible for.

On your resume, spend the most energy on your accomplishments.  What did you get done and how did that impact the organization?  If you did it for them, you can do it for the next company too.  Update your Summary and Accomplishments sections for every job you apply for, and tailor them to that job at that company.

And don’t be afraid to look outside your field and/or industry.  Sell your talent and skills, not your history.  Work where you find passion.  I know two people who had good, successful careers, and dropped them to attend coding bootcamps and both are now successful coders.  I started out as an Industrial Engineer, and now I’m a human resources guy.  Don’t plan for your career to move in only one direction.

The bottom line is that you should not define your job search looking backwards at what jobs you’ve done.  Direct your search towards what you are good at, and what you are passionate about.  Be prepared to talk about your strengths and skills, more than your former job titles and responsibilities.  You’ll find a job that will be more satisfying and fulfilling.   If you are struggling with your job search, this might help.  https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/



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