Take A Chance On People Making Changes

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Changing from one industry to another. Changing from one discipline to another. Changing from small company to big company.

By Cindy Alvarez (Director of User Experience, Yammer)

It takes a lot of energy and courage to make a change away from something you know to something new.

One way of looking at these candidates is to say “hm, they don’t have the experience we’re looking for” or “they’ve never done this before, not sure if they can handle this job.”

I’d prefer to look at them as people who are willing to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zone and admit that there’s a lot they don’t know. They won’t be able to fall back upon “I’ve always done it this way,” so they’ll be forced to actually look for the best way to solve a problem.

I was talking to a prospective applicant the other day, who asked about people on our team, and I found myself saying, “one thing we seem to have in common is that we’ve all made big moves in our careers – from print to digital, from agency to product company, from product management to design, from tiny startup to big team” – funny because I hadn’t realized it until that moment.

Lots of people have years of experience or technical skills. But the ability to take a leap and take on the uncertainty of trying something totally new: that may be a better predictor of how well you’ll succeed at whatever we throw at you.

This post was originally posted at The Experience is the Product.

Women 2.0 readers: How have you dealt with uncertainty during a big transition in your career or life? Let us know in the comments.

About the guest blogger: Cindy Alvarez is Director of User Experience for Yammer. Cindy is passionate about helping startups succeed through early focus on product management, user experience, and customer outreach. She blogs at The Experience is the Product. Follow her on Twitter at @cindyalvarez.