Close-minded job seekers, beware: you may be sabotaging your own job search. In an economy where most job seekers are finding the process more difficult than in the past, it’s foolish to believe some tasks or projects aren’t for you.
It’s quite the opposite. Any job that can help you to be a better professional and advance your career goals—even if it isn’t what you dreamed of doing—should be considered. Failing to do so can actually push your job search and your career goals in the opposite direction because you’re not open to alternative possibilities.
So, should job seekers be willing to do any task if it’s relevant, though not familiar, to their careers? Absolutely. Here’s why:
1. Your transferrable skills may surprise you
Transferrable skills are like gold in a job search. Varying your skill set means you can apply to different jobs. For example, knowledge of Photoshop can be beneficial to the advertising field, a content marketing job or a UX designer position. These transferable skills just have to be applied in different, more creative ways.
In addition, although some transferable skills may not be seen as such, chances are an employer will pick the candidate who can offer more over the candidate who has a more basic skill set. It’s all about your return on investment—what you can do for them in the long run.
Tip: Don’t shy away from positions or projects where your skill set may not be applicable! If you come to the table with ideas of how your transferrable skills can help an organization, the employer will typically be more open to you.
2. Variety gives you an edge
Performing tasks that aren’t your specialty should be seen as a blessing in disguise. Variety is, of course, the spice of life. If an employer notices you have a broader background than another candidate, you’re more likely to be plucked out of the crowd.
Further, a resume that paints a different sort of picture boosts your legitimacy, can help you meet your career goals and broadens your perspective.
Tip: Look for similar positions in different industries. For instance, if you worked in sales for the travel industry, you can migrate these skills to the food and beverage space. Although the position may be comparable, industry rules can vary. This way, you’ll be familiar with the job duties but can apply your skill set to different situations.
3. It’s not as difficult as it seems
You should be willing to do anything that will help shape you as a professional and advance your career goals. Job descriptions are blurred; many people don’t work in industries that apply to their degrees, and we’re often surprised by what we like.
Though taking on tasks you aren’t 100 percent accustomed to may seem intimidating, in the end, you’ll figure it out. You just have to navigate the best route for you.
However, take this advice seriously: taking on jobs out of your expertise will probably backfire. You’ll spend more time figuring out how to perform a task as opposed to figuring out how to do it right. This doesn’t help anyone, especially the organization. Instead, understand how your professional background and your career goals can benefit a company and apply for positions accordingly.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask a mentor, former boss or coworker for advice about an unfamiliar position. Particularly if they have experience in the job or industry, their input can be very beneficial.
If you’re part of the large chunk of Americans looking for a job, but wary about the process, look beyond what you’re used to. You’ll typically find the best opportunities, and the best experiences, are far from what you expected.
What do you think? Why else should job seekers be willing to do anything?
Sudy Bharadwaj is a Co-Founder and the CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a platform that helps job seekers find a job via their social networks. Learn how Sudy and Jackalope Jobs obsess over job seekers by connecting with them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.