Go to www.Porot.com for additional advice, tests, tools, examples of letters, résumés, answers to the toughest interview questions, tips on salary negotiations, etc
MBA-Exchange.com has the pleasure to bring its members career advice and practical wisdom from Daniel Porot, one of Europe's leading pioneers in Career Design and Job Hunting.
Daniel is an INSEAD MBA, class of 1966.
My career in banking has slowed considerably and I see no possibility of promotion at my firm. I'm very interested in e-commerce and would like to make a change to that field. How would you suggest I do this?— Read answer
I'm currently employed in the medical field. I have a bachelor's degree in pathology, but I want to change careers and begin working with children, i.e., case manager, advocate.
How do I construct my resume? Some of the classifieds don't require a degree in the social sciences but do require a degree of some sort. Should I include life experiences in my cover letter to make up for requirements I may be lacking? I have a strong science background, a four-year degree from a reputable university and awards for professionalism and academics. I'm a compassionate, hardworking person. Please help.— Read answer
Last September, I graduated from a master's in public administration program specializing in health-care administration. Theoretically, I have covered the fundamentals of an administrator ranging from financial planning to human-resource management within the health-care field. I am trying to change careers from technical to administrative. What steps should I take and how do I present my administrative qualities in my resume?— Read answer
I've recently begun a search for a human-resources (HR) position. I have a social-services background but want a new challenge. I've already enrolled in a night course. What should I be considering? Will I be able to hold on to my current salary?— Read answer
I've studied international and European relations, and I started my career in the information-technology (IT) sector as a marketing assistant and implementation consultant/project manager. Although I have produced many qualitative results, I feel that my career is developing too slowly. I'm currently an assistant in a quality-standards department. I'm concerned about my firm's stability and I'm also considering changing careers. I have a strong interest in both marketing and public relations, fields that are more closely related to the subjects I've studied. How can I make the switch to a new career?— Read answer
I've been employed at a business-consulting firm as a strategist, organizer and programmer manager for just over two years, but I'm not passionate about my job. My educational background includes a master's degree in management and strategic-information systems and a bachelor's degree in law.
After speaking with friends who work in advertising and event management, I feel that either of those fields may be more suitable for me. I'm also considering communications as a career move.
How do I position my candidacy for a position that I have no direct experience in? I'm willing to start over and approach my new career like a recent college graduate, but I wouldn't feel comfortable taking a reduction in salary.— Read answer
I'm a biochemistry major and Spanish minor and am studying abroad in Spain. While working in a laboratory last summer, I concluded that working with chemicals isn't what I enjoy. I dream of a career where I can work with people and be active, performing a variety of tasks. I have a lot of interpersonal skills, and I'd like to use them. I'm considering a career in business. How could I combine the two fields? Should I pursue an office job in a pharmaceutical company? What should be my priorities in terms of my education?— Read answer
I'm 27 years old and am completing a four-year bachelor's degree program in nursing, however I've learned that I'm not passionate about the field. I started my education by taking business courses and have worked in offices all of my life but ended up changing directions.
After four years in nursing, I've determined that there's no particular area in which I'd like to work except perhaps mental health. I can't stand being in hospitals and I dislike the bureaucracy of the nursing profession, not to mention the competitive atmosphere, political turmoil and unhappiness associated with it.
Another problem is that I'm in debt by $30,000. Should I stay in nursing to pay it off or should I gradually take college courses on business-related subjects to return to the corporate world? Or, should I pursue an accounting designation?
I'm afraid that the longer I stay in nursing, the more I'll be closing doors to other career opportunities. What should I do?— Read answer
I graduated from law school and began my first job as a lawyer eight months ago. I'm unhappy with it and am not sure I even want to stay in this field. I'm considering a career in human resources instead. Should I quit my job to look for another one or stay in it until I find something else, even if I feel my emotional health is at stake?— Read answer
While a bit younger than some of the other discussion members, I too am searching for a more fulfilling job. I am 23 years old, and I have been working at a financial-services firm for the past year. All of the internships and preparation that I have done have led me to the current role that I have, but I have recently realized (probably knew all along) that this is the wrong career for me. My creative spirit feels stifled, and I feel unenergized about the work that I do.
I was wondering if you have any suggestions for where I can go to learn more about another career that may be a better fit for me. I have had thoughts about the publishing industry (magazines) or the business side of the fashion industry, but I really don't know where to go to learn more. I have also thought about starting a small business, but I am not sure of what type of business I would like to start. Please help!— Read answer
I want to change my field from marketing to administration/hospitality/management/customer care. I have 14 years' experience in marketing. Please advise me immediately.— Read answer
I am 38 years of age and I have an associate's of science degree in electronics technology. My employment background is seasonal employment with the Internal Revenue Service in Fresno, Calif., where I am currently on furlough (layoff) until February of next year. I want to make a career change and I am having trouble doing this.
I have been a seasonal employee at this employer for almost 15 years. I have tried hard to get permanent year-round employment and the local management has no local authority to hire permanent employment. The local management has told me there is a hiring freeze.
The area of work I want to get into is electronics assembly. I am having a hard time convincing a local employer that I want to change careers and to have a job that would utilize my degree in electronics technology. May I please receive advice on what to say to the representative?
I am also continuing my education for a bachelor's of science degree in industrial technology and find myself enjoying Computer Numerical Control and CADCAM programming. I am taking evening courses in CAD CAM and CNC programming and would like to work for a local manufacturer that performs this work. Could you please advise me on what to say to the employer representative about taking evening courses in this field and that I want to work for them?— Read answer
I have been in the health-care field (as a clinician) for 15 years and am contemplating a change to information technology. The problem is that I have a young family and the prospect of giving up my income for two years to attend grad school is pretty daunting.
Does anyone know how marketable the online master's degrees are? Will employers consider a candidate with a traditional bachelor's degree, 15 years' unrelated work experience and an online master's?— Read answer
Any suggestions on how I can convince an employer to create a new position? I have several friends who work in a local hospital that is in dire need of a public-relations specialist. I think I would be perfect for the job but I'm not sure how to begin.— Read answer
I need help developing a career-change strategy. I'm 34 years old and I have been employed in the pension industry for about seven years. I currently hold a bachelor's degree in history and an M.B.A. I want to become a sports writer and I will be taking a few journalism courses in the fall. I have no journalism experience but I do write a great deal on the job. What is the best way for someone with my background to gain professional experience in this field without formal training?— Read answer
In my opinion, everyone should change careers at least once in their life. After 10 years of doing the same job, you feel that there is nothing new for you in the field any more, although you continue reading and attending conferences and workshops. Stagnation stops your development as a personality and as a professional.
I have changed my career from teaching English and French in Europe to web design in the U.S., and feel happy about it. I am a graduate student in web design and development, and some people think there could be no job for me after graduating. Designing web sites is a creative and artistic way of earning money. I hope employers will feel my passion for design and offer me a chance to reveal my talents. Good luck to everyone who supports my point of view and isn't afraid of changes!— Read answer
I have been in the travel industry for the past 14 years. While I was very happy in the past I find myself dreaming of a career in commercial real estate. I've been thinking about this for a few years now but I was comfortable here and I earned a very good salary. Now my salary decreases every year and I feel I need more to be stimulated, as some days I read a book or read RealEstateJournal all day.
It is very scary to make a move after so long. Also, the fact that there is no salary at all is scary as well. If I could get a draw I think I would make the move right away. I love to read books and web sites to get information. I just want to make sure this is a good decision.— Read answer
I've been a practicing dentist in Bangalore, India, for two years. Though the job is fulfilling my needs, I feel the desire to change fields because I'm ambitious by nature. I'm just 24 years old, and I'd like to pursue a job in marketing or business, so I can make contacts and face new challenges. So far I found my search a bit difficult. I'd like your advice. Plus, are there any other career options for a dentist besides dentistry itself?— Read answer
For the past eight years, I've been working in different European countries in investment banking, corporate finance and my own small business, an Internet site. I'm currently at an investment bank in Paris, performing private placements and providing mergers-and-acquisitions advisory services to technology companies. I've worked on a number of different tax issues for clients and myself, and I've decided I'd like to become an independent international tax adviser to wealthy individuals.
I've consulted with several law professors and tax professionals as to how I might proceed, but they've had no suggestions, not even books or basic degree requirements, i.e., law, accounting or tax.
Does one need a degree to legally offer such advice in the European Union? If so, which would you advise? Are there tax degrees? It seems everyone has either a law degree with some tax expertise or an accounting degree, but neither focuses on the practical aspects of individual taxes. I'm not interested in getting a law degree. What path do you suggest following? An easy route might be to train at a big accounting firm and eventually split off.— Read answer
I have a master's degree in philosophy. The only work experience I have is as an administrative assistant. I don't want to teach; I'm not a people person and prefer working independently. What career would you suggest I pursue?— Read answer
I'd like to break into free-lance writing. Any suggestions about the best way to start?— Read answer
I graduated with a degree in economics and spent the past year working in public relations at a major firm. I don't think I'll be hired by this extremely un-diverse midwestern workplace (and probably wouldn't be comfortable even if they took me on) and I have the option of going to grad school in marketing communications or human resources. My undergrad major was in business economics and I have an interest in both fields. The grads of the marketing/communications program must fend for themselves to find a job. I don't know how long I can stay in this field without being completely irritated at the lack of intelligence.
The human-resources program sounds more practical and connected to my undergrad degree. I don't know how to choose which field. I do a lot of recruiting for my alma mater, which I love, but other people are always telling me how boring HR is. I'm not swayed, so I'm confused as to which program I ought to pick.— Read answer