How can I avoid being IT typecast?On 28 May 2002 in Personnel Today I have been working in HR for 10 years. I am in a relatively senior role andwould like to move on. I’ve got a solid CV and great qualifications. However, Ireally only have experience in one specific industry sector – IT. I would liketo move into something new, but do not feel very confident about moving into acompletely new sector. On the other hand, I don’t want to be typecast bystaying in IT. How important do you think experience of more than one sector isin building a career in HR? Grant Taylor, consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes Depth of experience in a particular business sector is important as it helpsyou to climb the career ladder effectively in that sector. It is more difficultto gain promotion in a new business sector. The best way to move to a new sector is in a similar role, as you offerexperience of operating at that level, even though you lack an understanding ofthe business sector. The ‘something new’ you are looking for can often be foundwith a sideways move to a new sector. You will also feel more confidentoperating at a level of seniority you are used to. It is important for your development to gain experience in a range ofbusiness sectors as they all operate differently, and the type of staff youwill work with will vary greatly. This develops your ability to adapt todifferent challenges and draw on experience from different environments, so youwill broaden the knowledge that you have in dealing with HR issues on a grandscale. Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMS consultancy You say that you have great qualifications, but what are they? If you arenot CIPD qualified, this should be something to consider. To my knowledge, HR professionals with experience of a number of differentindustries have more to offer than someone with experience of only one sector.Having said that, your lack of confidence needs to be overcome. Your experiencein IT probably involves you recruiting in areas where there may be a skillsshortage, developing innovative compensation packages and being reactive to aconstantly changing environment. To be successful in an IT human resources rolerequires a strong personality, business awareness and the ability to thinkbeyond traditional boundaries. If you can sell your strengths, a move out ofthe IT sector should not be a problem. Doug Knott, senior consultant, Chiumento There is a strong body of opinion, with which I concur, that HR managementskills are transferable across sectors. In fact, the challenge of working in adifferent environment can help to keep your interest levels high and your witssharp. Unfortunately, this view is not shared by many of those making the decisionsin the recruitment market. The more senior your position and the older you are,the more difficult you will find it to change sectors. I would stronglyrecommend that you gain experience outside of the IT sector so that you do notbecome typecast and you can demonstrate your ability to operate in differentindustry sectors. In order to assist with your job search outside IT, you should considerusing a skills/competency-based CV which markets your generic HR managementskills and places less emphasis on your chronological career history. There is strong evidence to support the theory that flexible HR professionals,committed to ongoing personal development, can successfully move betweensectors. As long as you match this description, you should be confident aboutmaking the transition. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.