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Question
I am seeking a specific career advice from career professional such as yourself.
Here is my history: I am a 33 year old female with business oriented Bachelors Degree (graduated in 2007). During college years I was working in restaurants as waitress/bartender/ hostess. Shortly after I graduated I married, had a baby and stayed home for two years. Currently I am employed part-time as a waitress at the same place I used to work.

I am currently looking to start a career in outside sales for food or alcohol distributor. I have been applying for the past month and so far had only one interview. I feel that a lot of the skills are transferrable. I am passionate about food/ beverage. I have lots of experience in customer service. I establish relationships with people easily and can communicate comfortably with people of diverse backgrounds.

Would you please advise if my desired transition to outside sales is unreasonable. Any career advice will be greatly appreciated.  

Thank you.

Answer
Maggie,

I don't believe your transition into outside food sales is unreasonable at all. What identified transferrable skills have you been highlighting on your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn.com profile? Are there any areas specific to that specific niche field that you still need to get training and/or experience in? What are you doing to build upon those things in your part-time waitress experience?

I would start asking questions of the food and alcohol distributors that service the restaurant you currently work for and ask them about how they got into their current line of work and what would be the BEST direction for you looking to make a break into that area? There is a lot of power and information to be shared by professionals already in a specific career field which cuts down on your learning curve and time it takes to get into a specific career field. Tap into their "insider knowledge". Ask if they can mentor you through the transition. Ask who their boss is and then get in contact with him/her for an informational interview and their perspectives as well.

The blessing in your situation, Maggie, is that you are not very far removed from where you want to be. Get the answers to the test and then ACE IT! You've got this!

I hope this helps!

Claiming nothing but success in all of your career endeavors,

Torski Dobson-Arnold
"America's Top Career Confidence Coach"

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Torski Dobson-Arnold

Expertise

I can answer questions in regards to resume development, career transition, career planning, salary negotiation, the interview process, networking in a job fair/trade show environment, telephone screening and practically answer issue as it relates to career planning. With 10 years of being on the front lines of the applicant and recruitment process as a strategic human resources professional, I have the "insider track" to what sparks the interests of hiring managers to what top ten things you need to avoid when applying for new opportunities.

Experience

10 years in private and public strategic, professional human resources roles. 2 years as a professional resume writer, career coach. Own and operate an elite firm specializing in resume writing and other career services, Your Career Confidence, LLC (www.yourcareerconfidence.com)

Organizations
NAAAHR (National Association of African-Americans in HR) NRWA (National Resume Writers Association) AORCP (Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals) SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management)

Education/Credentials
BA, Marketing Management, Mary Baldwin College, VA MS, Human Resources Management, Troy University, AL PHR certification (awarded in 2006)

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