Tuesday, May 27, 2014

316- Internship: The Power Move for a Career Change

The power of experience is a job seeker's best tool. For people changing careers the problem is not lack of experience, but the unwillingness of employers to take a chance on them in a new career. How do you prove that a career change is right and permanent for you?

Internship: The Power Move for a Career Change

When I counsel people who are making radical career changes, I frequently hear the same problem: If you are established in one career and try to change, its hard to get someone to take you seriously in a new career. A young engineer wanted to change to a career helping kids in the inner city. 

She had lots of leadership as an engineer, but people saw that experience narrowly. Similarly another young engineer that I knew wanted to switch to marketing. 

She had lots experience with the product she wished to market and had an advanced degree with a specialty in marketing. Again this candidate was constantly redirected to engineering departments.

How can you prove that you have chosen a new direction that you will stick to? How can your prove that your old experience is relevant, while proving your new direction is sound for your skillset?

The trick is to get new experience. The easiest way to do this is to take an internship. Internships are short term jobs, either paid or unpaid and they can be officially setup through colleges, or unofficially set up by you.

And either paid or unpaid internships are very powerful tools. In interview after interview, I've seen personally the benefits the candidates receive from internships.

Internships do four very powerful things:

They prove that a candidate has the skillsets needed in the new career.

They prove that the candidate has the commitment to the new direction (frequently they've taken a pay cut in order to work as an intern)

They provide professional references within the new field.

Interviewee show significantly more confidence and credibility

Now in an interview when questioned about how relevant work experience from the former career is, the candidate can speak with authority about how skills translate.

Education is a powerful bridge between careers. But internship following education can 'seal the deal'.

If you are interested in internships, first check with your educational institution, ones you are currently enrolled in or former alma maters. Then check with your present and former employers. If they have internships available, you can leverage your reputation to have the inside track. Finally, check companies that you may want to work for. Your motivation may help you land the internship or land the subsequent full time position.

If you have trouble finding paid internships then consider pursuing unpaid internships. Charitable institutions frequently will be more likely to give someone a chance as an unpaid intern or in volunteer positions.

Internship can open doors into new careers, and can lead to your dream job.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com


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