Changing Careers? Some practical advice and how to find resources to help pave the way!

The following is a question asked following the webinar I did for the alumni of Georgetown University entitled “Resumes, Interviewing and the World of Work” along with my response:

Dear Mr. Mulberger,

I enjoyed listening to your webinar this afternoon and thought that your presentation was very informative and interesting.

transition-3rd-blogI would like to receive your suggestions on how to go about changing careers from teaching math to working as an actuary. There are certain skills that overlap, however, there are other desired skills that do not show up on the resume. How could the cover letter and resume be enhanced to highlight qualifications? Would you recommend going back to school for an additional degree?

Thank you very much and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

“Webinar Attendee”

Dear “Webinar Attendee”

Glad it was of value for you!!

Before you sign up for another degree suggest you find a way to talk to a few practicing actuaries and and/or those who run such a department or internal program.

A quick google search for “actuary associations” brought up: http://www.actuary.org/ with this contact information – 1850 M St NW #300, Washington, DC – (202) 974-6007

The search also brought up other entities…all fertile ground for research.

Suggest you make some phone calls…you will note that the association President slot changes annually.. so they are volunteer leaders…practicing actuaries…. the Executive Director runs the association (is a salaried employee).. Track down one or more of them and ask them the questions that will give you the answers as to what your challenges will be to make that change. http://www.actuary.org/content/messages-president

“I am very interested in making the change from teaching match to being an actuary. Can you spare a few minutes to give me some  guidance and answer a question or two?” Most will say yes!

BTW – creative google searching is a great way to find and then gain access to people… I cover it extensively in a full chapter in my book….

Let me know if I can be of further assistance!

Good luck!

Robb

As a matter of note – use google searches to find trade association professionals you can talk to such as I advised this person. I have a very detailed chapter in the book – “Basic and Advanced Internet Search Techniques” –detailing the Boolean Operators and how to get the most results with the least effort.

Do a google search – just copy and paste this string into a google search window; substitute your area of  interest for “actuary” and “actuarial”. Note the this search string follows google algorithms –  google search “rules” – type it EXACTLY as it appears here if you can’t copy and paste it.

(actuary OR actuarial)  (association OR society OR “professional society”)

From there – make contact as I suggested to my “webinar attendee”!

Good luck!!

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How to Position Myself to Achieve Optimal Interest from Prospective Employers?

I received an email from a job-seeker referred to me as a result of one of my university alumni webinars.

The email asked the question “…how to position myself to achieve optimal interest from potential employers?…and asked about the value of a career coach.

My response was:

The answer lies in the fact that qualifications and experience speak for themselves when properly packaged.

For example a degreed accountant who is currently a controller will respond differently (with regard to resume, cover letter and marketing effort) when applying for another controller position vs an accounting manager position. The first will stress hands-on accounting skills and knowledge; the second will stress management, problem-solving and leadership skills and knowledge.

So first define what  it is you are specifically seeking – and it can be more than one career target. For each career target – fashion a resume, cover letter and marketing plan that speaks to what an employer would want. For example – a firm seeking a tax attorney will want to know how current the knowledge base is, how recent the relevant experience is, etc. You have a number of career paths already somewhat in place but you need different versions of your resume and cover letter to focus on them individually.

As you define career targets… think to where the opportunity lies …go after the “low-hanging fruit” (the positions and career targets that are on the upswing vs those that are not). For example any positions in print journalism are not career targets that makes sense at this time. Research the possibilities for your selected career targets.

So my advice to you is:

  1. Read my book . If you don’t think it has value – let me know and I will refund your money.
  2. Come up with several career targets based upon your personal ambitions coupled with your experience and apply a dose of reality to them based on trends and your research.
  3. Fire up your network and once you have resumes and cover letters in order – follow the advice in Chapter 9 – “Uncovering The Hidden Job Market”.
  4. If you feel a career coach might be of value – sound out the following two individuals – and see if what they offer has value for you. I recommend both  – feel free to  use my name as an introduction.

Angelo Agrafiotis – 973.283.8161 – apagrafiotis@aimlifecoaching.com – www.aimlifecoaching.com Angelo is in New Jersey.

Marshall Brown – 202.518.5811 – marshall@mbrownassociates.com – www.mbrownassociates.com

Marshall is in DC.

Good luck and let me know how it is proceeding!

Robb Mulberger

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