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Managing in a new field
April 6, 2014, 3:03 pm

Professional life transformations to a totally new field need not leave you feeling like the odd man out, you can modify your previous experience to fit the new job by implementing some of these suggestions.

Know your new field: The first step to being successful is playing catch-up. Learn everything you can about your company and the field, especially the commonly used language, terms and actions. Being knowledgeable about the latest industry standards levels the playing field. If you understand what is going on without having to seek help from your co-workers, they’re more likely to value your input instead of being skeptical.

Share  your  unique perspective: A perk of having a different educational background than others is your ability to approach your job with a different perspective. While most of your co-workers may be trained to spot problems and solutions in a traditional manner, your atypical background may help you think more creatively. After all, you were hired in the first place as your employer believes you’ll offer a fresh viewpoint.

Make yourself relevant: Having a wide range of experiences can be advantageous in your new position, as long as you find a way to make them relevant and prove that they connect to your vision for the future. How relevant you are depends on how much experience and expertise you have garnered in previous positions. Making your background relevant disproves that having a different educational background could be a negative.

Find creative connections: Your background and current career are linked, but in less obvious ways than your co-workers may know. Aside from the obvious reasons why you were hired, you can bring other skills and talents to your position.

Maybe you can read with a skeptical eye, a skill that was very beneficial in your previous job can now help you become better at your new one.  What may seem like an unrelated background could be an untapped resource in your current career. Get creative and find new connections.

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