Ask your Recruiter

The Great Pivot

Dear Estee,

I have been in an office job for 12 years, and though it’s going fine, I really feel there is something else I could be doing. The problem is that every job I want to apply to I am either not qualified for or I don’t even get a response. Any ideas for someone who wants to make a career change?



Dear Chanie,

Your situation is incredibly common but can be so frustrating! You know there’s something else out there for you but are not sure what it is nor how to get there. I get phone calls from people in this exact situation all the time. I recommend this exercise: Go through large job sites like Indeed or LinkedIn, look for jobs in your area with no filters. Take note of any job that catches your eye and makes you think “I would love that!” and write down the job title as well as the experience and education or training needed. Keep going until you have a list of at least ten different jobs. Now look for patterns. For example, if everything you’ve written down has to do with working with people or sales, then that’s a huge clue to what you’d be good at. If everything is medical based then that’s another path entirely.

Once you find the pattern, narrow it down to the lowest-level position in that field or industry that you can tolerate pay wise. That is your starting point and new goal. If you need a specific license or certification to move toward your new career goal, spend a few hours researching a program or school near you. With so much being remote right now you should have many options. Make a timeline of how long it should take you to complete and get started. There is no reason to put long-term goals off; start the school application process today and you’ll get there.

Even if it will take you several years to train in a new field, at some point in the future you will finish it and be so glad you did!

If, however, your career goal doesn’t require training but requires experience you don’t have, one good idea is to see if your boss will let you handle a related project to gain experience. After you have at least a tiny amount of experience under your belt you can mention it in the very first bullet point under your current job title on your resume when applying for jobs. 

Personally, my first introduction to recruiting began when I was on the hiring committee at the school I worked for. I added that recruiting project to my resume after I fell in love with hiring, and my second career began.

It’s not easy, but it’s possible!

Estee Cohen

Estee Cohen has been in the recruiting industry for over a decade and has interviewed over 20,000 people and placed over 3,500 people in jobs from all sectors in over 300 companies. She is the CEO of California Job Shop, which is thriving recruiting firm based in Los Angeles, that handles permanent employee placements for companies throughout the US- not just in California. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Administration, 5 amazing kids, a passion for science education and an addiction to aspartame. Follow us on

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