May 9, 2016
By Mike, Talent Acquisition Manager at Avery Dennison
Some people know exactly what they want to do for a living early in life. Others think they know, only to find out they don’t like their chosen career.
If you’re deciding to make a career change, the transition can be difficult, for both the job seeker and the hiring manager. The job seeker is starting something new and the hiring manager likely feels they are taking a risk hiring someone that made a recent career change.
So how does a job seeker convince the hiring manager to take a chance on them?
Well, I was in a similar situation not long ago. I went to school and studied Music Business. But, after two years working for recording studios and production companies, I realized that it was really meant to be more of a hobby for me rather than a full-time job. Like many Music majors, I ended up in retail, but really enjoyed it!
Eventually, I worked my way into a training role, and realized that I found another interest in HR and Talent Acquisition. Unfortunately, my two years of retail training experience wasn't enough for companies to take a risk on me. I ended up going back to school and getting a master’s degree.
The Master's degree not only bought me time to pursue a more active job hunt, but it gave me the piece up paper to make me more marketable. I did take a contractor role for about six months after I graduated, but once I demonstrated my work ethic and knowledge, I was hired on full-time and here I am today.
The point being - I recommend not looking at the situation as convincing or selling a business as taking a chance on you, but focusing your time and efforts on making yourself as marketable as possible.
I know going back to school isn't necessarily fun, but it is something I recommend to really show that you are committed to your new career and that you are worthy of taking on the right role.
Another thing would be to take other roles that might "get your foot in the door" and offer a path for advancement. If you’re interested in Supply Chain, it might be worthwhile to take roles in Customer Service or Marketing that has some limited exposure to Supply Chain or Logistics.
If you perform your roles well, and do some strong internal networking, you may find someone knocking on your cubicle seeing if you'd be interested in an entry-level supply chain or logistics position.
Another option might be to do some heavy external networking with companies. Explore and find companies that have entry-level roles that correlate with your desired career, that are large enough to utilize your experience, as well as have sizable supply chain functions that you might be able to explore while working there.
While making a major career change can be daunting and seem like a far-fetched dream, it’s not. People do it all of the time and it is definitely possible to not only change careers, but also succeed in your new chosen path. I once heard a boss share that they can always teach someone a new skill, but you can’t teach someone to be a hard worker. If that’s you, you have more going for you than you think.
Stay calm and be excited about your new path! You’ll do great.