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First I wanted to say thanks for putting together this podcast. It has had an enormous impact on me. I am currently a structural engineer, but at the same time I will graduate with my MBA in December. Once I receive the degree, I plan on setting out for a career change. My ultimate goal is to get into the Business Development and Corporate Strategy area. This leads me to my question for you guys and the discussion group.

What are the best ways that I can make this transition? Any good advice in that area? I have spent the past 5 years as an engineer learning very good skills but they don’t translate on a specific level to the business jobs that I will be looking for. How do I convince an employer that taking the risk of hiring somebody with my experience and education is worth their risk?

Also on the resume building, I understand the power of making it accomplishment based. I am not really sure how I will be able to build this type of resume. My first issue is that my accomplishments aren’t measured on a scale like how much money I can save the company or things like that because are tasks are to analyze the structure for a certain design life criteria. The only schedule and budget impact stuff that I do is to write VBA scripts that shorten the time it takes to do some of our daily tasks.

The second question is how to I phrase these things into ways that the hiring manager would understand/care?

What are the skills and accomplishments in engineering that would be the best to highlight in both my resume and interviews?

Again, thank you for making your podcast. It has given me a fantastic avenue to gain exposure to the concepts in business before I am in too deep. I cannot wait until I am in a situation where I can put more of them to use.

Thanks again

Josh

wendii's picture

Hey Josh,

I think when you are transitioning careers, it's all about showing the transferable skills. So, if you want to be a manager - what things do managers do? Control resources, problem solve, create strategies.... I'm sure you do some of those things already, so you need to show them on your CV.

As for not being able to quantify; that's difficult sometimes but if you think hard enough it can be done. One of the measures in my role is hiring manager satisfaction, but it's really difficult to quantify that, because one might think you did a great job, and another think you just did an average job. We get scored on a monthly basis and those scores go up and down like yoyos! I really struggled with that for ages, and then remembered all the commendations I'd got. When I counted them up, it gave me a really great measure. So, think creatively, and if you're still stuck, list them here and we'll all have a go.

I hope that helps.

Wendii

jdg's picture

Thanks Wendii, that does help a lot. The biggest thing that helps are some of the descriptions of what managers do that you included. I definately think that I can put some of my accomplishments into problem solving and creating strategies that will make sense to an employeer.

Thanks
Josh

wendii's picture

Josh,

So glad it helped. One of the tricks I use is to go onto monster and find some jobs that are in the right domain, sound interesting and which have a good list of responsibilities - doesn't matter how much or where. Then I use those things to help me remember stuff I've done or steal wording where it's better than mine. If you found my 'off the top of my head' list useful, that might be another trick that helps.

Wendii

jdg's picture

Nice!

that sounds like a very useful trick that Mike and Mark should even mention on the podcast (Hint, Hint!) . :wink:

Josh

jdg's picture

I meant to ask before. What does CV mean?

wendii's picture

It's english english for resume. It stands for Cirriculum Vitae which is latin for something like the story of my life.

Wendii

Mark's picture

Wendii's right, a CV is a Curriculum Vitae (note spelling) and it's Latin for "course of life". See the connection between course and curriculum?

This is not to say that European CV's are identical to US resumes...but give it 20 years and they'll all end up in a central tendency swirl.

Mark