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How to get a job in something you’ve never done before?

Our Founder and CEO, Elena Kyria, answers one of the question she is most asked about from her connections on LinkedIn: “How do I get a job doing something I’ve never done before?’

‘An example of this would be maybe someone who’s looking to take their first step into leadership or somebody who maybe wants to switch departments: you working in quality and now you want to have a role in regulatory.
Now, what a lot of people tend to do is to just go and search for jobs online and start applying to them but actually my feedback and my recommendation is always:

Number 1 – to look inside your own company; you already have a network, you have a reputation, you’re much more likely to be given an opportunity to do something you’ve never done before internally within your company where you’ve already built trust and build a track record.

So, if you’re looking to move into leadership, look for leadership opportunities. You’ll probably find there aren’t that many of them so you need to build skills that will be valuable in a leadership role. Volunteer yourself to mentor junior people coming through the business. They don’t need to be directly reporting to you but if you spend some time to develop them and to demonstrate skills of a leader you will be able to bring that to your next role.

In the same way, look for projects where you can step in as potentially a project lead or a part of the project that you would lead to be able to develop skills where you would be responsible for designating the strategy or for example allocating specific workloads. This is valuable experience that you’ll be able to bring to your next leadership role.

Now, if you’re looking to switch departments it’s almost the exact same concept: find the team that you are looking to join or the department that you are looking to join and volunteer yourself to potentially support them with some small tasks or parts of the projects, that they might need help with.
You don’t necessarily need to have a job title to be doing that kind of role, but if you get an opportunity to get in there on some projects, you build your internal network but again you get the skills that you will be able to use when you make that next move.’