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Changing careers can seem a daunting task. And depending on the path you choose making a career transition can be. First, consider that every position has two parts: the job (responsibilities, duties performed, skills needed) and the field (the industry where the work is done). A marketing VP at an Internet start-up, for instance, has good interpersonal skills, is a strategic thinker and has experience creating marketing campaigns. She also is knowledgeable about the Internet industry as a whole.
Basically, there are three ways to make the transition. The most difficult way, but the path many people choose, is to change professions entirely: job and field. An administrative assistant at an insurance company, for example, decides she wants to become a magazine writer. This can be done, but it’s a tough move. In a potential employer’s eyes, a candidate without experience doesn’t bring much to the hiring table.
Take heart, there are easier ways. One course is to move to new position in the same industry. In this scenario, the assistant might look for a writing position in the insurance industry (working on a company newsletter or in the marketing department). Although she doesn’t have writing experience, she has knowledge of the field. Once she gets some writing experience changing fields will be easier.
Another option is finding the same position in a new field. Here, her move is administrative assistant in the insurance field to administrative assistant, publishing. The second move is to writer, publishing. Once you’ve gotten in and proved yourself as a good worker it’s easier to get someone to take a chance on you.
Using the two-step method takes longer. But it’s easier. It may be easier on the pocketbook as well: Generally, the less a candidate has to offer the employer, the less they will be paid.