“I’ve spent the past five years in child care and now I really want a change of scenery, but why do employers give me such a hard time for wanting to change my career and my career goals? I feel like I’m going to be stuck in child care forever because it is the only experience (besides 6 months cashiering) I have.”
Great question, Brittany! It can be tough to change direction (particularly if you are really good at the line of work you’re leaving and have a lot of experience!) but the key is to consider the bigger skills you learned in that profession and apply them to your new career path.
For instance: if you wanted to enter the field of in-store, phone or online customer service, the patience and communication skills you’ve developed over the last five years are applicable to that new job. You may not have earned your stripes dealing with customers in the returns department of a big retailer, but being diplomatic with a 7-year-old screaming for a juice box is just as hard as staying professional when faced with customers who swear they didn’t wear the pants they’re returning (the tag just fell off and they got mixed in with the wash somehow).
The trick is writing and speaking about your experience in a way that potential employers would consider to be applicable to the job at hand, making them think “yeah, I can see where that skill would apply here!” You may also have better luck if you shoot for entry-level or nearly entry-level jobs to get some quick industry experience, then plan to work your way up quickly to the jobs that you are aiming for.
Good luck with your job search!