Looking to change career? Avoid these job switch killers

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Did you ever think this to yourself: I’ve been in my industry for what seems like a life time, way too many years in my current position, I’ve been there and done that!

Or have you suddenly and unexpectedly found yourself between jobs? During these COVID times we see many good men and women at the wrong place and the wrong time. Perhaps you got fired, cut from the payroll but still a family to take care of? Or at best, you called it quits yourself?

Welcome to the Club either way. The question is, how do you avoid being a permanent member of this Club of Wannabes? 

When I look back at nearly 20 years of headhunting candidates for management positions in Thailand, I have learned the following:

  • Realize that you have made a name for yourself in your particular business, industry or function. Your personal branding in the job market, your resume and LinkedIn profiles are all testaments to your achievements. And this is exactly why other companies (read: competitors) will love to buy from you.
  • I have yet to meet a client who asked me for candidates who have never worked in their specific lines of business or industry; for candidates who are not already living and working in Thailand; who have never managed Thai people or who have no current network in the business community.

So you may be a wizard in your own right (industry) and a famous person in the country where you live, but it counts for nothing when you want to change your career and work in Thailand. Don’t shoot the messenger.

I have seen two ways that executives get a chance to switch career; in fact, count me as one who did it:

Forget recruiters and headhunters. Generally speaking they are rather useless when it comes to change of careers. The simple reason is that their clients are very very specific with their demands and position requirements. As I mentioned, I have never served a client who wanted candidates from another industry or with another functional expertise.

Option 1: Start your own business. Take charge, do what you want, be your own boss.

Option 2: Use your network which I hope you have worked on. Remember, you need to build a network when you don’t need a network. It’s through former colleagues, bosses, university friends and alumni, who know you best, who trust you, who have seen how you work and how smart you are.

If you still want to give it a try, changing from one industry to another or from one function to a different, you need to change your Resume and LinkedIn profile. The key is to highlight your transferable skills.

Transferable skills are the skills that you have acquired from your previous jobs. Skills that are transferable to a different job, industry, or work environment. It is important that you market these valuable skills on your profiles to demonstrate that you will be able to adapt to new job requirements.

In the tagline between your name and contact details, so the header of your Resume and LinkedIn, add four to six words of transferable skills so the readers immediately know what kind of person they are looking at.

In the Career Summary and the Key Expertise (which are the first and second paragraphs of your Resume) you summarize the main competencies. But do make sure that you are true to yourself to avoid getting caught during the interview if an expert is grilling you.

The link below is an interesting help to Switchers; an excerpt from Dr. Dawn Grahan’s book Switchers, How Smart Professionals Change Careers and Seize Success.

A career switch is a major goal, and you’ll only succeed if you activate your network. Many accomplished executives shy away from networking when making a switch. Why? Some haven’t searched for a job since college, and think applying online is still the standard way to find employment. Others don’t know how to mobilize their networks. Many don’t network because they feel a bit vulnerable due to their lack of direct experience in the new field. Don’t let ego prevent you from asking for help.

via Looking To Change Careers? Avoid These 5 Job Switch Killers

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.