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Any tips on getting a job in a completely different field?


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I've only had about 3 years of work experience, and all of it was in retail. 2 1/2 years at once place that I left because my boss and co-workers drove me crazy, and the second one was only a few months long because the store closed. In those 3 years I've dealt with enough crazy people to realize I don't EVER want to work in retail again! Anyway, I'm job hunting right now, and I'd much rather work in some sort of office environment. I enjoy working with computers, filing, organizing, taking phone calls, all that good stuff. My only problem is, how to I get potential employers to consider me when my only experience is in retail? What are your experiences in finding a job in a completely new field? Thanks!

 

Also- my college education won't help at all...I only took a semester before taking a break.

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A majority of the office jobs out there typically look for a college education.

 

If you want to get into an office environment with a degree, you will likely have to work your way up. My mom (with no college education)( started as a copy-clerk and eventually worked her way up to receptionist/front-desk. It doesn't seem like all that glamorous of a job, but that sort of is indicative of what opportunities having a college presents you.

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I don't think you'd have any trouble getting a receptionist or file clerk job in most offices, even without a degree.

If you've worked retail, you must have some interpersonal skills that would transfer well.

 

I'm in the same boat, and calling HR departments for info. It's not easy, but some folks will give you ideas.

Try your state's unemployment department for information. It takes some digging, but there are resources that can help.

My state has programs to get you trained, and you only need to buy books.

 

I'm currently applying for state funding to train in a new field I found by studying the job market.

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Ability to get a job in an unlearned field is based on true passion in my experience. Without passion, it will be tough. I went from management information systems to appraising real estate for one reason. I was passionate about appraising. I was a complete idiot about how the field worked in many fashions yet I put my heart into it, learned all I could on my own, and my passion was clear with all interviews. I am know licensed in my state and looking to run my own business. Its all about passion.

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You shouldn't really have trouble. As musicguy said, put emphasis on you computer skills, any computer courses you took in high school, your typing speed, your attention to detail, your customer service skills and people skills. Since your experience isn't as relevant, put it lower down on your resume.

 

Try going to an employment agency because they typically have alot of the kinds of jobs you're looking for. And instead of wasting your time applying for 50 jobs that require specific experience, they can match you with an employer that's looking more for what you have to offer.

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