Tips To Remember When Changing Careers

Chelsea Lawler

Maybe you are unsatisfied with your current career and wish to find a new position. Or maybe you are guilty of hopping from job to job to gain more experience and refine your skill set. Hopping from career to career can be beneficial to you; however, to a hiring manager, it may show that you are unreliable or irresponsible. In our current economic society, job stability can be unknown and you may be forced to relocate your career choices. We will explore the various ways to approach the subject and deliver answers as to why you may have changed positions in a short amount of time.

1. Discuss Your Experience & Skills

If you are guilty of job-hopping, explain to the interviewer what you have gained from your various job experiences. Do not forget to note why you have left each position and remember to put a positive spin on each experience. Explain why you are right for the new position and highlight your competencies.

  • Did you change jobs to expand on your skill set or knowledge base?
  • Did you see the previous jobs as a foundation to advance you to your next position or career?

Explain to the interviewer what you will bring to the table!

2. Avoid Speaking Negatively of Your Past Positions

Your reason for hopping from job to job could be a negative experience.

  • Did you have an issue with a former employee or a manager?
  • Is your attitude to blame for the termination of your position?

Discussing negative aspects of your leaving or blaming others will only raise concerns to the interviewer. It is imperative to create a positive spin on your past experiences while being diplomatic in your response. Explain how you are seeking new challenges and the reason you may have left was due to new career opportunities.

Example
“A new manager was assigned to our department and changed the operation of our department radically, to the point that I did not see any room for advancement in order for me to continue taking on new opportunities within the position.”

3. Avoid Discussing Finances or Salary

When discussing why you have left your former position, do NOT imply that you left due to finances or a larger salary. You do not want to appear money hungry, fickle, or imply that you are looking for a higher salary. An interviewer will be looking for an applicant that is not solely motivated by money.

It is important to be compensated for your skill set and experience, however, an interviewer does not want to hire an individual that can be persuaded to change positions by using money as a motivator. When discussing the change in positions, highlight why you want to do the work and not the salary.

4. Avoid Discussing Your Instability

There are a number of reasons as to why you may have left your last position or positions. It is important to show that you are a suitable candidate for the position while showing that you are ready for new growth opportunities. Implying that you were “bored” at your last place of employment is not an acceptable reason to leave a position.

Highlight the long-term positions that you found important and how you will be able to grow within the new position. Address why you left each position, but remember to keep the conversation positive. It is important to minimize the events of job-hopping and spin your skill set or strengths to the interviewer.

About The Author

Chelsea Lawler

Chelsea Lawler is a recent graduate of Philadelphia University with her Master of Science degree in Fashion Apparel Studies. She graduated from Mount Aloysius College in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Chelsea enjoys running her small jewelry business for vintage clothing, and traveling. With her writing at Career Igniter, she hopes to educate both students and job seekers on the various facets of the job hunting process.

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