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I am having challenges leveraging education without experience, how can I transition into a new industry without experience?



I have two graduate degrees. I currently work for the government. I would like to get into the finance services industry and/or project management. I am having difficulty breaking through.

2 July 2020 5 replies Networking



Paul Tusting Salt Lake City, UT

Hi Joaquin,

I'll start with assuming your education aligns with your professional goals (if it doesn't see further below), but as the title of your post states, you have yet to gain professional experience in these areas. The first thing to do is figure out what in your government job can be positioned as helping your professional goals. From there it is about assessing the gap (between the experience you need, and the experience you have), and closing it.

As far as assessing it: 1) search your personal network for folks who might give you some insight [make it clear you aren't looking for them to "find" you a job, more just giving you the lay of the land], 2) go beyond your immediate network to fine other people to ask about what the needed milestones are, maybe this is hiring managers who you interviewed with, or folks you found on Linked In [again, not asking for a job at this time, the old school term for this is "informative interviews".

From there, it is about closing the gap you find: 1) are there companies who have particularly good veteran services departments, 2) are there internships, 3) anything to get in the door to learn/network.

If your education isn't directly applicable: 1) like with your government job, what can you position to be applicable?, 2) without pursuing time intensive and expensive additional degrees are there certifications or other training or licensing that would benefit you [There is lots of this stuff related to project management], 3) even researching this can help you network ["I unsuccessfully interviewed for a position with your firm, but am still very determined to move into this field. Is there someone who may be willing to take a few min and discuss what additional experience and/or training would make me a more competitive candidate?"].

Best of Luck, Paul

4 July 2020 Helpful answer


Liz Campanelli East Brunswick, NJ

Hello Joaquin -
I would have résumé that describes what you do today with government. What are your grad degrees in? My guess is that your professional skills, education and training may get you in somewhere to work your way into project management and or finance services. First we need to build the professional profile, then seek positions where you would be a strong fit. Then start networking. If you need help with résumé, please send me what you have and we can work from there. Hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Liz Campanelli

3 July 2020 Helpful answer


Jansen Weaver Philadelphia, PA

Good Morning Joaquin,

As a Marine for Life Representative, I would encourage you to reach out to me on LinkedIn as I would love to help you think through your plan and next steps. I am also happy to hop on a call or review your resume - whatever you think would be most helpful.



Bruce Marks Lewes, DE

Joaquin, One path you might want to take is to go for your PMI Project Management Certification. There are many organizations out there that offer the training to prepare you to take the test. The government might even pay for it. American Management Association is one of the organizations that offer the prep course. Once you have been certified you can package that with your experience and I'd think many employers would have an interest in bringing you on. Best of luck, Bruce



Thank you Paul. I appreciate your insightful perspective. I definitely need to improve my ability to use the experience and education that I have to fit a desirable position.
Thank you Liz. I have an undergraduate degree in Organizational Management from Chapman University. I have an MBA from Grand Canyon University and a Master in International Business Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. I'll send you my current resume.
Thank you again.

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