SEAK faculty member who is a personal branding expert answers the question:  What advice would you give to physicians considering a career change?

I think you have to learn to speak corporate. And that sounds kind of harsh, but you need to learn to talk in a way that the people in the field that you are investigating are going to expect, without losing who you are. That’s where branding comes in. Branding is important. You want to be yourself but you have to use the language of the field that you are going in. that’s going to make you feel like an insider. That’s really really important. It’s also important, even to get to that point, doing research, talking to lots of people, networking. Not networking to get jobs, but to get information. That’s your currency. That’s what’s going to get you where you need to go. You want to talk to people about what it’s like working where they work.  What are the things people need to be successful in those kinds of places? Think about what you have that you can translate to that.

The more information you can get, especially even on trends: what industries are going up? What are going down? Right now manufacturing is suffering. If you are going to go for a manufacturing job, you have to realize there are going to be a lot of people with a lot of experience ahead of you. Why do they want to hire you with very little experience? You may have a great value proposition, but so what? Somebody else does too and they have 20 years of experience in manufacturing. You want to look at what the upcoming industries are and the ones that are sliding. Make some hard choices about where you want to start looking. Get information and be as educated as you can and then start seeing how you think your experience fits that.