Here is a comment from an adult going back to school to qualify for jobs. It was originally posted on the DeniseMpls Facebook page.
It is very discouraging when you are forced into unpaid internships and low-paying jobs just so you can gain exposure to your chosen field. Entry-level jobs even demand 3-5 years of experience in that field. It seems a bit discouraging to have years of experience but not considered for new higher paying jobs.
I understand your frustration. It is difficult for anyone, especially someone who has been in the work world for several years, to feel like he or she has to “start over.” However, you likely have many transferable skills – skills that will give you a head start in a new career.
Many job seekers benefit from going back to school or getting job training, but that doesn’t mean that they have no qualifications. Your first job in your new field might not be at the same level as in your previous field, but you can move up quickly as you gain experience and network in the new field.
You can find out how the skills you gained from past jobs match other occupations with mySkills myFuture.
Are you looking for work in a field that is very different from your previous work? The more closely related your new career path is to your previous experience, the more likely you are to have skills that the new group of employers need.
For example, a chef with 10 years’ experience probably would not get hired in a high-level medical position, but she might qualify for a mid-level position working in hotel or other business related to the restaurant industry.
Remember these two things when job searching:
- Employers want to hire a person with the right set of technical skills (related to that career) and the right personality traits or soft skills.
- You have to present your skills so that the employer knows how hiring you can help their business.
Think about what you have to offer an employer. Then, be proactive in how you present yourself in networking situations, on your resume, in social media, and in interviews.
When you view yourself as a qualified professional and not someone “asking permission” to enter a career field, employers will take notice and want to work with you.
Also keep in mind that this is a tough economy for job seekers. Employers are asking for candidates with several years of experience for entry-level positions because they know they can find someone for the job. It might not seem fair, but those positions can be a foot-in-the-door for you at a good company.
Most people who changes careers feels like they are starting at a lower level than where they were. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn, make connections in your new field, and discover how this new career fits your values, passions and goals.
Keep looking up,
Also from DeniseMpls:
- Job Seekers: Do You Know Yourself?
- When Your Passion Isn’t Your Paycheck
- How to Gain Experience When No One Will Hire You