Q My background is in strategic business development and marketing, but I am thinking of a career change into diversity and equality. I have an MBA, as well as UK and international business experience. Over the past two years, I have been involved in creating diversity and family-friendly policies and practices in my current organisation. This has been very successful, but there is not a long-term career path here. I am very interested in this field, as it is extremely fulfilling, and would like to make a move into this area. What are your views regarding training, opportunities and approach?
HR Recruitment Business
A You have a lot of transferable skills – particularly your strong grounding in business – that will serve you in good stead for the career you would like to move into. You need to market those skills in the right way.
It can be a challenge making a career change, but there is a raft of different things you can do to make yourself truly marketable.
Here are some suggestions:
Consider taking an employment law qualification. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) does an employment law certificate and an advanced employment law certificate. This would provide evidence of your commitment to your new career and build your knowledge bank.
Identify organisations with visible, defined diversity functions and messages and target them with direct applications. Typically, the types of organisation with a strong commitment to diversity include large corporates, such as those in the FTSE 100.
Consider an interim assignment in a diversity role as a route into an organisation and as a means of getting further relevant experience on your CV. Some of these opportunities may become permanent positions.
Join diversity network groups. CIPD membership and events, for example, will afford real opportunities for networking. This will build up your contacts, show commitment, and further develop your knowledge.
You have considerable experience so ensure your CV reflects what you have done so far in this area. Also ensure you have a concise introduction letter summarising your desire to build on recent experience in this area.