Job related

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Job related

Postby Isha » 12 Apr 2012, 17:48

I need some advice from experienced people: How do you find a job in an area out of your expertise? How do you make your CV look relevant there? How do you handle the interviews for such position if anybody decides to interview you?
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Re: Job related

Postby finley » 12 Apr 2012, 18:11

You need to get some relevant experience :) There's no rule that says you're only allowed to be an expert in one thing.

Can you be more specific? If you're asking how to land a job that you wouldn't actually be able to do if you (somehow) managed to blag your way through the interview ... that wouldn't be a good plan, because you'd soon be found out.
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Re: Job related

Postby Celeborn » 12 Apr 2012, 18:12

Identify people in your target industry and meet them. Take them out for coffee - something non-threatening that will not take up much of their time. Be sure to pay for everything.

Ask them about the business, the industry, their personal experience, how they started in it, what it was like to move forward, what they do not like.

Respect their time - when you invite them out or ask to speak to them over the phone, tell them you will only take up 20 minutes of their time. At 18 minutes, wrap up and be grateful. Most of the time, assuming you were able to get them rolling with their stories, they will wave you off and happily keep chatting away.

Listen. Carefully.

Listen to the words they use and how they use them. GO beyond the jargon and acronyms, but certainly take note of them. This is the style and the language that makes you sounds like an insider. (Avoid using the jargon yourself - as a neophyte in their world, you will sound like an ass.) After you start sounding like an insider, you will hopefully start thinking like one. The next information interview you go on will be even more valuable and easier.

Ask about resources. What magazines and websites they "have" to read to keep up. What they "like" to read. Who inspired them, and then look them up and talk about them on your next information interviews. What schools, certifications, or pundits that are important. Large business sectors usually have some website or trade publication, no matter how obscure. Figuring this out are your short term targets. Go to the public library -- the big branches have trade magazines you have never heard of. At all times, absorb what you can.

By your 3rd or 4th interview, you should be acting like someone who has a good albeit superficial grasp. The more you play the part, the more accepting and trusting your later interviewees will be. It sounds terrible, but in some industries, what looks like a duck and quacks like a duck is considered a duck, no matter where you really came from.

Find your targets on LinkedIn. Google Shally Steckerl and use his methods to get contact details from the web.
Isha wrote:I need some advice from experienced people: How do you find a job in an area out of your expertise? How do you make your CV look relevant there? How do you handle the interviews for such position if anybody decides to interview you?

Armed with this knowledge and perspective, the answers to your questions should come naturally.
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. KNOWLEDGE helps us make a living, while WISDOM helps us make life worth living - Anonymous

Mastery in life and business does not mean that there are no longer any problems to resolve or situations and events to stretch us. Mastery is acheived when you handle unexpected events gracefully and smoothly, moving with the flow and not getting stuck in a thought loop that impedes effective action - Karen Staib Duffy, founder of Quantum Development Coaching

This post was recommended by 2 Forumosans: ironlady (13 Apr 2012, 06:06), NonTocareLeTete (12 Apr 2012, 18:15)
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Re: Job related

Postby Isha » 12 Apr 2012, 18:23

finley wrote:You need to get some relevant experience :)


Actually I know a few cases where people made a big leap in career, not upside leap but side to side leap in totally incompatible areas/industry. I am planning to do something similar. I have tried it in the past, would like to do it again. Need inputs from people who have done this.
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Re: Job related

Postby NonTocareLeTete » 12 Apr 2012, 18:25

You can also spin your previous experience, resume-wise. Doesn't matter what the job was, there were probably aspects that will prepare you for your next job. Figure out what skills people need to do the job you want, think of ANY experience in your life that helped you acquire similar skills. Sell those.

There must be some reason you want the job- one is that you think you'd be good at it. Why do you think you'd be good at it? What similar experiences have you had? If they're not appropriate to list on a resume, try putting it in the cover letter or bring it up in the interview.
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Re: Job related

Postby finley » 12 Apr 2012, 18:40

Isha wrote:Actually I know a few cases where people made a big leap in career, not upside leap but side to side leap in totally incompatible areas/industry. I am planning to do something similar. I have tried it in the past, would like to do it again. Need inputs from people who have done this.

Yes, of course it's possible; I'm doing that myself. But I don't think there's any generic advice. It depends what you're jumping from and to. Tell us your plans in a bit more detail.

You're basically going to find yourself starting at the bottom again if it's something completely unrelated to your current career. There aren't any shortcuts, but you'd be surprised how quickly you can acquire genuine knowledge of your new field. There's no need to try to hoodwink interviewers into thinking you know more than you do, and it can only end badly if you take that approach. Ed's advice above is good, but there's no point in going for an interview armed only with superficial knowledge and a few buzzwords. I've interviewed people like that and been mighty annoyed that they're wasting my time (and theirs). Far better to find an entry-level position and try to make it clear to your (prospective) employer that you have the enthusiasm and interest to climb the ladder. Most interviewers will respect that, especially since a lot of people don't really give a shit about their job.
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Re: Job related

Postby Celeborn » 12 Apr 2012, 18:57

I agree with finley. If you are planning to walk into an interview cold, then we can assume a couple of things. First, it is either an entry level position to get an interview that fast, or it is very high level (in a low barrier to entry industry) and you should have a lot of general work experience and a great connection to land you the interview. Second, you are not likely to do well (again, depends on the nature of the work and how much you can transfer skills as NTLT suggests - you better be a sweet talker to pull that off)

The approach I suggested implies a good amount of time to immerse yourself before taking a serious chance. This is approach is great for grad school students or recent alumni, who can hopefully offer some "new" information to share with your information interviewees. Try to speak to 6 to 10 and then decide if this really is the kind of work or activity you want to do. Many of us do everything I wrote unconsciously over a long time.

But this advice is only general advice. For some sectors and in certain countries, the expectations are too strong to allow most of us to simply waltz in and take the big chair. A shortcut that many try is the consulting route - passing yourself off as a recognizable expert either as a consultant with meaningful clients, teaching/training, or as a student in graduate or certification schooling.

If you can share with us what sector you are coming from and what industry you are interested in, you will likely get better advice. Good luck
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. KNOWLEDGE helps us make a living, while WISDOM helps us make life worth living - Anonymous

Mastery in life and business does not mean that there are no longer any problems to resolve or situations and events to stretch us. Mastery is acheived when you handle unexpected events gracefully and smoothly, moving with the flow and not getting stuck in a thought loop that impedes effective action - Karen Staib Duffy, founder of Quantum Development Coaching
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Re: Job related

Postby Petrichor » 13 Apr 2012, 05:11

Identify the skills common between where you are and where you want to be, and expand your knowledge of the new industry as far as you can. In my experience, the higher up the role the easier it is to switch between subject areas, as management, rather than technical skills, are what are needed.
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Re: Job related

Postby the bear » 13 Apr 2012, 11:50

A common scenario in Taiwan is the English teacher trying to get a tech. writing job. Some companies will hire writers with no experience but it helps a lot if you swot up on terminology and display an active interest in technology. Any related skills are better than none, for example if you can use Photoshop that's a plus because the job might require you to use other Adobe CS software packages. Also it goes without saying but check out the website of the company you are interviewing with. Familiarize yourself with their products. If their website is rubbish (quite likely) find a competitor's website in the US or Europe to do your research from.
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Re: Job related

Postby downtownandrew » 18 Apr 2012, 11:47

Been here for over a year... Blue sky is the most beautiful thing to see when it happens in Taipei... a handful of times.
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