Change in Careers

Susan DelgadoSusan Delgado Registered User regular
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I don't know where to start.

I work in a rather specialized field, have a specialized degree, and have, what feels like, very specific job experience.

I love what I do. My field is highly regulated by state, local, and federal rules and regulations, and I love the challenge of working through things that are taken to be very black and white and finding the shades of grey and how to apply them to current situations or conditions. I get to work with and develop relationships with various entities and agencies to work towards some kind of greater good. Plus I just think it's cool.

The problem is, over the last year I've realized that I took the wrong job to try and progress my career path. Where I am at now has completely stunted any future growth or development in my field. I am not getting the experience or exposure that I need to be able to move to the next tier in my path, and the only way around that seems to be a step down and backwards. I can't afford the severe pay cut that would come with that, and honestly I don't want to go back to that facet of my career. I worked damn hard to get where I am now. I've been applying like crazy for other positions in my field but can't make it past the phone/skype interview stage, or the qualifications are so far beyond what my experience is that it isn't even funny.

I am starting to feel like my only option is to change careers all together, but I don't even know where to begin. I feel like my experience would translate to other fields or professions, but I don't know where to begin. I want to go into consulting, but typically planning and consulting require an engineering background, which I don't at all.

I guess I don't have a specific question...but I would appreciate any words of wisdom or advice on getting into a completely different career and how to position myself for that kind of transition?

Thanks for reading and TIA for any advice you have.

Go then, there are other worlds than these.


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Unless I'm missing it, it would probably help to actually say what you do now, specifically.

  • InvectivusInvectivus Registered User regular
    I'm actually in the same point as you Susan, and its driving me nuts, so I will be watching this thread intently

  • HandgimpHandgimp R+L=J Family PhotoRegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Unless I'm missing it, it would probably help to actually say what you do now, specifically.

    Probably an issue where it's so specialized that by stating it, their identity could be obvious to peers/superiors/google.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I mean, some idea of the actual skills involved would help, even if its just the position or field he would step backwards to.

    If you can swing some on the job training, if that's the sort of thing that's possible in your position, do that. Start learning whatever it is you need to make a lateral or upwards move while you still work at your position. Either on your own time (if possible) or by convincing people at work you want more to do.

  • MorkathMorkath Registered User regular
    Since there is no real information on what you are trying to do other than get a different job.

    Figure out what you want to do (which it sounds like you know).
    Figure out why you aren't getting through the interview (which sounds like you know, lack of experience/training)
    Figure out how to acquire that training or experience. Can you take some college classes to get you what you need? Is this something you can teach yourself at home in your free time? Look for any related tests online and practice them, so you will do better in interviews.

    If it's not something you can learn on your own, you will have to try talking to your superiors about potentially changing career paths and what you can do to make that happen.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited December 2015

    I'd love to help you with some solid research resources, but without knowing what you are looking for or where you are coming from it will be hard for anyone online to assist you. In my work (academic career councilers) we always say:
    • Identify
    • Qualify
    • Effort
    • Enthusiasm

    You would be at step one. Right now you need to identify where you are, what skillsets you have, what your specific goals are moving forward, and what general career path you are looking at. We can help you with this, but you have to give us something to work with.

    Enc on
  • Susan DelgadoSusan Delgado Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Thanks for the input so far, I really do appreciate it.

    As far as what I do, I am in the aviation field...Handgimp (edit, sorry had wrong UN) kind of nailed it, though. We are such a small community that it's typically pretty easy to figure out where someone is and who they work for, so I'm trying to be rather vague (which I know doesn't exactly help).

    I'm trying to add to my industry resume with some additional training. I already have, I guess what you'd call, mid-upper level management credentials (including neat little letters that go after my name on my business card). There's some training I'm working on currently, but it doesn't translate to other industry so well.

    I've discussed with my boss before that I need more professional training and development, I've made it pretty clear that my goal here was to learn as much as possible and then move up in the food chain...however my boss' idea of development and mine are grossly different. They think that being told 3rd hand about a process or project is the same as me actually being intimately involved and being allowed to ask questions and see a process through to completion. Also our employer does not believe in outside training. . . so that's fun.

    I'm working on my resume right now for a private sector job in an industrial mfg facility.

    I'm going to work on some of your suggestions and try to narrow down or better identify my skill set and training/experiences.

    Susan Delgado on
    Go then, there are other worlds than these.
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    This might be helpful for what folks are looking for, along with what credentials are needed:

    Onet essentially merges Bureau of Labor Statistics information with mass surveys of all job listings within the field to create a fairly accurate assessment of what is out there and what you would need credential-wise to break into it. You can drill down to the very specific or look at industry as a whole.

    Given how specialized you already are, that might be the best place to start to see what is out there. If you can identify a specific employer, region, or job classification I can provide other tools.

  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    One thing you might consider is a lateral move to another company that would support your development in more ways than your current management. It seems slow I know, but sometimes incremental steps are what are needed to help your career in the long run. Since it sounds like it's a small community, I would suggest networking with people you trust to find the right environment to get you the growth you need.

    Also, go ahead and keep working on applying for those higher level positions including consulting. You never know when something will come along where they might need someone with just your specific expertise or are looking for someone with a lot of potential if not experience. I would also suggest you find someone you can practice interviewing with. I would suggest someone that interviews other people that you can trust - they don't need to be in your field or even understand it - just be able to coach you on where you could have better or stronger answers.

    Finally, I would suggest looking into other opportunities besides jobs that you could grow your knowledge or skill set. These include volunteer opportunities (not sure how many there are that would be relevant, but it's an option) or networking a lot with others who do the work you want to do. Think about the out of the box ways you could advance yourself in your profession.

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