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Asked by Sarah on November 24, 2015

I graduated with a degree in civil/structural engineering three years ago. After graduation, I was lucky to find a job as a geo-technical engineer. Now, two years later I feel that my heart is really in structural engineering. People tell me that it is hard to change disciplines in this field once you've started down a certain path. What is the best way to make the transition?

Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at Asurion, on December 2, 2015

Changing career paths is sometimes challenging, but not impossible. I would recommend networking with individuals at structural engineering companies in your area. Establishing relationships is the best way to explain your experience thus far, discuss your passion for structural engineering and find out about job opportunities in the field. If you don't know where to begin, use LinkedIn to find people working for the companies and send them a message telling them you're interested in learning more about their company and asking if they're willing to have a conversation regarding the company, their work, and suggestions they might have for someone in your position. It may seem odd to reach out to a stranger, but you may be surprised to find that most people are open to helping in this way. Best of luck! 

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Answered by Ashlyn, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, on February 8, 2016

This is a great question. It is difficult not only determining what you truly want to do in life, but also creating a path to so. I agree completely with that Asurion has said; networking is going to be an important tool for you to use. You will want to meet people within the field of which you want to aspire, build relationships with them, and see how they got where they are now. LinkedIn is a great resource when it comes to networking; if you don't have an account, go create one. Join groups, get in touch with people you went to school with. Be open to trying new things and meeting new people- this will grow your career tremendously and help you to get where you want to be going.

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Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on April 8, 2016

It's not always easy making a transition from one field to another with limited hands on experience, but it sounds like you are taking the right step in getting your certificate from UCLA. The other recommendation I would make is to join as many networking groups either virtually (you can find relevant ones on LinkedIn) or locally. By networking with people in the field, they can provide you with tips and additional contacts for you to connect with. Social media marketing is all about being skilled digitally so make sure all of your personal social media channels showcase your skills and experience and most of all, are professional. Hiring managers will want to see that you know how to use social channels and come across creative. Interviews can sometimes take time, so try to be patient and set goals for yourself in how many people you want to try to connect with each week and you will see results. Good Luck!

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