The Experience Gap: What to Do When Your Experience Doesn't Match Your Target Green Job
|Green Career Tip of the Week
"We learn by example and by direct experience because
there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction."
Recently I've had several conversations with people who are seeing a gap between the job they want and the skills/experience they have. This week's article spells out different strategies depending on whether you are transitioning to a new career or need to find a job now.
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September 12 and 14
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- Uncover what it takes to build momentum in your job search so you can identify more leads and land more interviews in today's job market.
- Discover the most effective ways to network so that you learn about openings BEFORE the jobs are posted.
- Know exactly where to invest your time and energy to up level your job search.
- Minimize the anxiety you face each morning when you wake up.
To learn more about this workshop, listen to our recent complimentary teleclass!
"Attract Job Leads Easily and Consistently Even in Today's Job Market"
Tip of the Week: The Experience Gap: What to Do When Your Experience Doesn't Match Your Target Green Job
All hiring managers are looking for the best candidate to fill their open positions.
- Having relevant work experience that's current and demonstrates that you create results.
- Having the right knowledge and skills to perform the work without requiring a lot of ramp up time.
- Having experience working within the industry, with a particular kind of product or client, similar departments. Something that tells the employer that you'll "get it" when you get on the job.
In a perfect world, your resume will demonstrate to potential employers that you are the one they are looking for. You've got what it takes to get the job done effectively, efficiently, and enthusiastically.
In reality...you may discover that there's a bit of a gap between whom you've been and who you want to become in this next role that you are targeting.
So the question is: How do you close this gap?
How do you connect the dots between the experience, knowledge and skills you do have and the experience, knowledge, and skills they say they are looking for?
If you are in the midst of a significant career transition, you no doubt realized you'd need to do some work to amp up your skills and experience to make the transition you want to make. Research your target industry and role to determine the extent of the gaps. I recommend researching your industry online to get the overview of the entire picture and then drill down to understand the section of the industry that best aligns with your goals. Talk with several people in the field to get their assessment (opinions) of the best ways to build up your experience.
Remember, if you are moving into a fairly new field, there may not be a lot of standards yet. You may need to use a blend of intuition and strategy to prepare yourself the best you can with a blend of classes, certificates, volunteer projects, leadership roles, and short term projects. Keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and profession to remain current.
If you need to find a job ASAP, discovering the gap between your background and what's being requested can be a bit disconcerting. How can you prove you can do the job when your resume doesn't tell the right story? Because you don't have a lot of time or energy to devote to rebuilding your career story, you may need to rethink your target position for your current job search. If your goal is to get hired, your best strategy is to focus on a position that aligns with your existing/most recent experience, knowledge and skills, without requiring a big sell job.
If your previous industry isn't a viable option, look for an industry that correlates closely so that hiring managers will be able to make the leap with you--without a lot of question or concern.
If you feel "done" with your previous profession and can't bear to go back, you may need to figure out a way to make it work for now as your fastest path to producing income. Think of this job as an interim position. Then plan to invest the time to figure out the job you really want and to develop your career story to make that transition successfully. The key is, don't try to make a significant leap when you are under pressure to "get a job" to pay your bills.
One Final Tip
When evaluating a potential job opening, keep these pointers in mind:
- Apply for jobs you are qualified to do...not long shots where you will struggle to succeed. Be sure you can envision yourself in the job, performing well, and getting results.
- If your skills aren't exactly what's listed in the job description, that's fine as long as you can connect the dots in your cover letter, conversations, and interviews. You still need to prove you have what it takes to do the job. If you can't connect the dots for yourself, you are going to have a hard time making your case.
Copyright 2011, Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc
Green Career Central Blogs
"Ready...Set...Go! Jump Start Your Green Career"
Green Career Central(TM) is an online coaching and resource center designed to help mid-career professionals, students, new grads, and career counselors make sense of the green economy and the green job market.
Carol McClelland, PhD, author of the award-winning, Green Careers For Dummies, is one of the nation's leading green career experts and founder of Green Career Central. Throughout her career, Carol has helped thousands of people find careers that match their values and interests.
Copyright (c) Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc. 2007-2011.
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PO Box 354, Menlo Park, CA 94026
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