Career break, career switch & the interview process.

End of Jan 2017 was when I last held a full time job. Here’s my story – The break from my job was a much needed one as my work schedule was taking a huge toll on my personal & professional life.  This has been my only career break after having worked for almost a decade in the corporate world. For the first few months, I felt relieved, spent a lot of quality time with family and delved upon how to switch my career from Tech to HR domain which is of my interest. 

From August this year, I started looking out for a job; although I have a degree in HR & having met objectives that dealt with end to end recruitment, on-boarding, LMS, training, mentoring, global leadership internal communication, and the like, I was still being questioned about my domain/career change during interviews. Much as I appreciate being asked about why I am intending a career switch, it was only during those times that I understood there is a lacuna in the interview processes – a person’s skill set, mental & emotional disposition, attitude, ethics, values, beliefs, strengths and many other positive traits are not considered at all. The entire focus is on why there has been a career break, on why a change in the kind of job is being aspired for and on why they should hire a person who hasn’t had a designation of a Human Resource personnel; although the roles & responsibilities held in previous capacities were that of a HR professional along with other primary tasks. No amount of honest explanations to the recruiters, seemed to justify the switch.

I sincerely believe the above mentioned traits in a person has to be given more importance in any kind of career shift (be it just a job change or a total domain change) than the designations held. What and how would this process change? I am not sure, but I do know that skill set is of a bigger significance than the titles, tags or the period of career break. I believe, the interview questions should perhaps revolve around the lines of domain knowledge, adaptability, learn-ability, attitude and other such skills.

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