Did you ever think to yourself… “Been in my industry what seems a life time, too many years in my current position, I’ve been there, I’ve done that?”

Or have you suddenly and unexpectedly found yourself between jobs? Perhaps 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 15 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, your LinkedIn profile etc, 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 headhunters, generally speaking rather useless when it comes to change of career. The simple reason is that a client is very very specific with the position requirements. As I mentioned, I have never served a client who wanted candidates from another industry.

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.

Another BlueSteps article is an interesting help to Switchers. It is an excerpt from Dr. Dawn Grahan’s book Switchers, How Smart Professionals Change Careers and Seize Success.

Switch Killer #3: Ignoring your network.

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. Creating ambassadors who can introduce you to the decision-makers as a trusted referral will help you to overcome many of the biases a hirer has against a Switcher.


This article was originally published on Tom Sorensen's website.


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