How to change careers and keep your status

How to change careers and keep your status

Three ways to capitalise on your experience and avoid starting all over again

 

Once you’ve proven successful in one field, others are likely to view you as excellent all around

Once you’ve proven successful in one field, others are likely to view you as excellent all around

 

Many professionals would like to make a career transition, but the thought of starting over can be too demoralising.

Luckily, there are ways to shift jobs or even careers without giving up your professional status.

Here are three ways to capitalise on your experience:

Leverage the halo effect

People are generally susceptible to the “halo effect” – viewing others as being totally good and competent, or totally bad and incompetent, based on an initial evaluation.

f you’re an experienced professional, you should use this psychology to your advantage. Once you’ve proven successful in one field, others are likely to view you as excellent all around.

Make use of your advantages

If you’re an experienced professional, you’ve likely accrued two assets that younger “reinventers” may not have: connections and money.

For example, if you’ve built up a nest egg, you may be able to take time off to volunteer at a high level for a cause you believe in, gaining experience and paving the way to a job offer.

And even if you’re transitioning from the field where you made your name, your contacts may have relationships with top performers in other industries whom they can introduce you to.

Find opportunities where inexperience is a virtue

If a company is in trouble, it’s often receptive to hiring an unconventional candidate as a leader.

Outsiders without industry experience are risky choices. But research has found that they’re also disproportionately likely to be the best leaders.

If you make that case forcefully – and can explain why your skills from your previous career compensate for your inexperience – you may become a desirable candidate. – Copyright Harvard Business Review 2016

 

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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