Answered by Bret, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Thank you for the question. You are facing a common career challenge, one that I went through earlier in my career as well.
First, stay positive and focus on your transferrable skills. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition professionals are highly attuned to notice a lack of confidence or uncertainty in candidates. If you go into a phone call or a discussion worrying about what you don’t bring to the table, it will get noticed. Take time and think of all the things that will make you a success in your new direction. An example is problem solving. As an Engineer, you will bring a methodical approach to solving issues in your new office environment.
Second, know your career plan and how that will help the companies you are applying to work with. A broad range of experience is a GOOD thing. The best companies (like Emerson!) will embrace it instead of turning it away. Frame your experience into why you are looking to transition and how that will lead towards your broader career goals.
Third, be realistic about the situation and cast a wide net, but not so wide as to come across without direction. Research the companies and industries you are interested in and in doing so you will be able to identify those that are looking for candidates with a wide range of experiences and skills. Use some restraint from sending your application everywhere.
Finally, use your network. A connection, former colleague, a friend or a relation will be able to point you towards plenty of opportunities. Don’t underestimate the value in talking though your career aspirations with others.
The best companies will always recognize, reward and promote those that do there job very well, get things done and demonstrate the ability to learn and grow. Changing career direction is a great example of that.