Contact employers directly to share that you are changing careers

Dale j t c
Jeanine “jt” tanner o’donnell is a career coach and creator of the leading career site www. Workitdaily. Com. Dale dauten is the founder of the innovators’ lab and author of the hr novel, “the weary optimist. ”

Dear JT and Dale: For the past 15 years, I have worked in customer service and am looking to change careers. But every time I apply for a new job, I get rejected. They told me that because I have no experience, I can’t get a job. How should someone gain experience? – Hunter

DALE: Let’s start with the pretty shoes of hiring managers for a minute. They’re probably overworked—which is one reason they’re adding to their workforce—and probably make the mistake of seeing recruiting as a distraction from their “real work.” In this way, HR manages to provide a list of candidates who need as little training as possible, which is another way of saying someone who has worked in a similar job. This means that they are not being close-minded or rigid, let alone seeking to be uncharitable to newbies; no, they are struggling to do their jobs and meet their goals.

JT: And there’s the sad reality: the current job application process basically shuts out anyone who wants to change careers. The simple solution is to contact employers directly to share why you are changing careers. You should be prepared to explain any transferable skills and why they will help you be a good fit for this new type of position. Research shows that only 39% of people being hired have specific work experience, meaning 61% of people are being hired for their personality and their ability to learn new skills on the job. That’s what you should be hyping employers about; however, this will only work if you contact them directly.

DALE: However, if you’re someone who’s already in your career, you don’t want to start over and go back to your starting salary. This is why you would evolve into a new career. You’re in customer service, but you’d like to be in, say, project management. Seek to get closer, step by step. You can do this by looking for a customer service job at a company with a large project management staff. You would work to get to know these people, and they would learn to trust you and want to help you learn their field. This way, you become an easy recruit. Or, another evolution, you seek to lead projects in your customer service area, in which project management professionals see a kinship. Basically, you become a project manager within customer service, then make your own move. Tip: don’t be a beginner; be an easy hire.

Dear JT and Dale: I have a new manager. She is very kind and caring and is concerned about everyone’s mental health. Unfortunately, I find this to be overkill and an invasion of my personal space. He is always “bringing me” and asking me how I am feeling and if everything is okay at home. This seems really unprofessional to me. How do I politely tell him to back off? – Valerie

JT: I would ask him to meet with him one-on-one and tell him that you really appreciate that he cares so much about his staff. Then tell him that you are a private person and that his repeated attempts to get your feelings out of you make you feel really uncomfortable. Ask him if you are okay with accepting it and if you are not okay then you will be proactive and reach out to him. I’d be very gentle with his feelings – my gut says that if he cares so much about all of us, he’s very sensitive and can take it personally if you’re too direct.

DALE: Right. Say something and you’ll probably alienate this nice, caring person, who will inadvertently begin to think less of you. After all, you would prove that you are not suitable for his holistic approach to management. You would risk all this downside, why? So you can keep your “personal space” in a cone of silence. You are in the wrong group. Go to work for some distant bureaucratic managers; they are easy to find.

Jeanine “JT” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and creator of the leading career site Dale Dauten’s latest book is “Experiments Never Fail: A Guide for the Bored, Unappreciated and Underpaid.” Please visit them at jtandale.comwhere you can email questions, or write them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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