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How to Switch Careers with No Experience

By Edited Feb 22, 2014 0 0

Read these two real life examples and see if you can make what they did work for you.

The Upgrade  

“I’d always wanted to help children and young people overcome barriers and go on to live happy lives and a career in child protection  with an emphasise on foster care was always the ultimate goal. Unforgently although I had (3) years experience as a youth worker working with troubled teens I had no university degree and every Fostering role seemed to ask for one. I couldn’t afford to study full time and I was looking at (8) years of part time study. 8 years seemed like an excessively long time to wait to get my dream job. One of my friends told me that the best way to get positions you were under qualified for was to apply for positions in remote locations because there were not as many applicants and sometimes there were no applicants at all.  I decided that living in the middle of nowhere for two years to get experience would be a better trade off than (8) years of study and I reasoned that being stuck in the middle of nowhere would mean I could start online study anyway. I applied for (2) Fostering positions in two different towns, both located in the middle of nowhere. I got a phone call about one of them and immediately flew there for an interview. It was worth it because I got the job based on my youth work experience and started (6) weeks later. After a year, I decided that child protection wasn’t for me and that I preferred mainstream youth work so I’m glad I didn’t waste (8) years studying only to find out that my chosen career wasn’t for me.”


The Career Swap  

“The only qualification I had was one in Automotive Servicing I’d gotten as part of a traineeship on my local council. I wanted to be a youth worker. Somehow I didn’t think my Cert II in Automotive servicing was going to cut it. I’d recently moved from a small country town to the capital city and I was intent on securing a position in Youth Work. I got a tempory job in a bar to pay the bills and devoted 1 hour every night to my job search. Basically, I applied for jobs through the seek website and out of the paper. Your standard typical job search. The only difference was I researched resume writing at the local library and checked out all the books they had on how to write a good one. I decided I needed a skill based resume rather than a chronological one and set to work underlining all the keywords or phrases I thought I could do. Athough I’d never had any formal youth work experience I had spent most of my teenage and early adult life assisting friends through hard times and I made sure this stood out on the resume. I then sent a cover letter that explained all the skills I did possess along with my resume. After about a month of applying for positions I finally got a call for an interview. I was so nervous but had followed all the advice in the library books and had researched the company I was interviewing with. After the interview I wa convinced that although I did well I presented as too nervous so I was amazed when a few days later they called me. Because of my lack of experience they couldn’t offer me the job I had applied for however they had created a new position for me as a trainee if I wanted it. Of course I wanted it!"

What do you think? Have you ever upgraded or switched careers? How did you go about it? Was your new role everything you thought it would be? DId you have to go back to school?           



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