Although you might change jobs a number of times, you probably wont change careers as often, because doing so is extremely difficult. Make it easier on yourself by following a method suggested by an emeritus Harvard Business School professor.
Eric Sinoway, writing with Merrill Meadow in Howards Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Lifes Work, quotes Howard Stevenson in describing a method for your experiment surely the definition of a career-change with uncertain outcome (St. Martins Press, $24.99).
Stevenson, Sarofim-Rock professor of business administration, emeritus, recommends first that you set finite limits, which in this case could mean numbers of months, interviews or iterations of your resume. Know your specific objective and make certain you follow the easiest route to it. Finally, as best you can, he says, make sure youre running a realistic and complete experiment.
Once youve established the structure of your campaign, prepare to convince an employer to have confidence in you, even though youve come from a different industry and/or skill set. Interviewing fosters enough jitters for job hunters who are advancing in their industry or occupation. Woe to the career-changer, who, in most cases, is somewhat at a loss. How can you get employers to have confidence in you if youre lacking it yourself?
Don't even bother going to the interview unless you've convinced yourself that you will be an asset, advises Ann Latham, president of Uncommon Clarity Inc. in Easthampton, Mass. She indicates that thinking about your general attractiveness as an employee and your specific value to an individual employer will also increase your confidence.
A new method for increasing your confidence as you present your background comes from Rachel Permuth-Levine, senior director of workplace research and solutions at Sodexo Inc. in Rockville, Md. Nothing is more compelling than being able to tell a story about something you or your team has created that fosters success either for your organization or for a client, she points out. Permuth-Levine recommends a Prezi, a new promotional tool developed with shareware to showcase your background online in several formats. She suggests that knowledge workers use it to describe the situation requiring the action you took and the results you achieved, complete with graphics.
Did you change a tough circumstance into a positive one through collaboration? she asks. Describe it! Use accurate but very bright language to tell a story ... such as revitalized or reinvigorated. She also says to consider demonstrating how you built reciprocal relationships.
John Brubaker would concur that reviewing your background like this increases confidence. Hes the CEO of Portland, Maines The Sport of Business LLC, where he consults on performance. Compiling a short list of your success stories serves to ... make deposits in your self-confidence bank account, he observes. When you feel more confident, you appear and sound more confident. Let that confidence become contagious in interviews.
When Brubaker guides mid-life professionals in career transition, he helps them draw parallels from a role in they have experience in to one theyre seeking. Communicating that bridge effectively, he maintains, will garner employer confidence. He also advocates acting confident.
Dont think that inspiring confidence in an employer is enough. Be invested in what youre doing. I have found that what makes an employee integrate in and thrive in a work environment rarely has to do with technical knowledge, remarks Sharon Hulce, president and CEO of Employment Resource Group Inc. in Appleton, Wis. It is whats in their heart that makes all the difference.
Dr. Mildred L. Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2012 Passage Media.