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Making the Transition

August 2015

Applying for a position you care about is daunting enough. When it comes to making the leap from one field to the next, it can seem doubly so! This month’s InnerView Q&A addresses the matter and how to phrase the fact that you’re looking to enter a field different from the one you’re currently in to a hiring manager. 

Q: How do you explain that you want to transition from one field to a different one entirely (e.g. from finance to marketing)? –Mariyam H., Chicago 

A: Making the leap across divisions doesn’t have to be difficult. With some finesse, you’ll find that persuading the hiring manager you’re not only willing but also qualified to move across divisional lines isn’t as challenging as it initially appears. Some things to consider before having the conversation: 

Make a Pro and Con List

Determine the pros of switching departments—what skills you’ll gain in the new position, what you’ll enjoy more and whether you’ll have opportunities for growth and development.

Similarly, determine the cons of making the move—what challenges do you see ahead of you? What skills will you need to learn prior to interviewing, and which can be learned on the job?






Nurys Harrigan is president of Careers In Nonprofits, the experts in nonprofit staffing and recruiting with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

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