You can make yourself marketable.
Really, you have to, especially if you’re considering a career change. There are a few things I’ve done or currently do that continue to add to my resume. And yes I know – you have a family. You volunteer. You have a full-time job. You’re a part-time super-hero and spend your evenings fighting crime. Don’t we all? My first pearl of wisdom is, if it’s important to you, you’ll find the time. Give up a Netflix night. It won’t kill you.
1. Continue your education. There’s a lot to unpack here. The obvious one is, go back to school. I know, I know… you have a doctorate. Why go back? I’ve done just that, myself. I’m currently in a Master’s Program for a totally different area than my PhD work was in. And I’ll tell you something – not only am I learning a lot, but I’m making new professional connections.
If a graduate degree is too costly for you, consider a professional certificate program. They generally take half the time and cost half as much. You can go through accredited universities or through professional learning organizations such as Professional Management Institute (PMI)
And then there are free and inexpensive courses. You can check out LinkedIn Learning, or Coursera for online resources. Or take a look at your local community college.
2. Make sure your online presence is professional. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and provide some detail. Take all of the stupid stuff off your Facebook page. Use the internet as free marketing!
3. Get involved in a professional organization or two. Or at least pay for a professional membership that will boost your resume. This could be the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Project Management Institute, etc.
4. Volunteer. But do so at an organization related to your next goal. You could, for example, provide your professional expertise at a non-profit organization. Be socially constructive, especially if the employer your targeting exercises social responsibility through corporate programs.
5. Take on a project at work that you can showcase on your resume. Find something that you’d like to have on your resume that just isn’t there.
6. Work on your interview skills. More often than not, that interview is like a first date. You’re looking for a personality fit. If you’re interviewing, then clearly you’re qualified. But will you fit in with the team? So be your charming self.
7. Find a mentor in the field you’re aspiring to break into. Even if it’s just for conversations over coffee.
Check out some of my previous blogs for tips on resume writing, interviewing, negotiating your package, and a few other (hopefully) helpful areas.