Hello New Opportunities
Switching industries at any point in your career presents challenges. You can easily lose confidence in your abilities and lose sight of what got you to where you are. In a field like corporate recruiting it’s easy to feel that a lack of industry-specific experience will correlate to less trust from candidates and clients.
Yes – industry-specific knowledge is invaluable. Thankfully my mentor willingly offers tips, tricks and lessons that she learned the hard way. However, she will be the first to admit that recruiting today is not the same as it was 30 years ago.
By The Book
I hold a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in secondary and special education. I was supposed to be a teacher, but my first career pivot happened before my career even started. During my senior year I decided being a teacher wasn’t for me. I had plenty of support, but my parents, who had paid to send me to a private college, were less than thrilled.
Fast forward a couple years. I loved the idea of education and through mentors landed myself in a master’s program in College Administration. That degree landed me a job at a local community college where I would spend the next 10 years of my life.
I loved the community, the students, the environment. I felt like I had found my fit. I listened. I learned. I grew. There, my boss and mentor helped prepare me for my next step within the college.
The only problem was that while I was ready, the college wasn’t. Pandemic, budgets, a million sign offs, optics of promotion left me at the same level for 4 years.
I felt like I was no longer making changes and no longer thriving in my area. The pandemic changed everything and my interactions with students were not the same anymore. I was ready to be a stakeholder. I was ready to have a seat at the table.
Back To Square One
After a lot of soul searching, I realized that I didn’t need to be in higher education to achieve the things I wanted out of a job. I started seeing article after article stating that this was the time to change jobs and demand more from your employer.
I started my search for nonprofits that needed a great administrator. Truthfully, that got me nowhere. After three months I was already losing hope. I didn’t even get an interview. I was doing all the things I had told students so many times. Tweaking my resume and cover letter for each job application, applying through the actual company website, using connections. Nothing.
I grew frustrated. I thought this was a candidate market. I wanted a new challenge. I just wanted someone to understand my skills were translatable and to give me a chance.
I wish it was that easy.
Just Keep Swimming
When I interview you for a chance at a new position that sounds amazing, I hear you. I know how hard it is and it doesn’t get easier.
Expand your search. Build connections. Be open to being outside of the box. As there is a mass exodus from education and higher education, talk to people. Think about the part of the job you love and be open to new opportunities. Never question your abilities.
Here’s my spin. When you know you have ground to make up, you’ll be willing to go the extra mile and do the extra work to prove that you’re an asset. Just because your experience is different doesn’t mean it’s invalid.
Most importantly – don’t be afraid to take your career down a different path.
Thankfully I did and I am loving it.