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Whenever I have the opportunity to do informational interviews with academics seeking to change careers, one comment that NEVER FAILS to come up is, “But I don’t have XYZ experience. I’ve only ever taught in a classroom/worked in a lab/worked in the clinic.”

And I get it.

You don’t have to say you have the experience in a field when you don’t. That’s lying.

But how about the experience you DO have? How does that experience make you a unique asset for the new kind of role you want to enter?

If you’ve been a teacher for the last 10 years – how do your skills in curriculum development, communication, writing educational documents, contributing chapters to a book – how do those make you different from the other people who may be applying to an advertised role?

If you’ve worked in the lab – how has your knowledge in the lab and the skills you gained there prepared you for this new experience? Same thing if you’ve been working in the clinic.

PLEASE stop downplaying how EVERYTHING you have done till this point may actually help you excel in this role.

And if you don’t know something, you do have the ability to do your due diligence before you get called into an interview. Do that instead of downplaying your excellence.

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