Personal pitches are hard enough, but what if you’re trying to stop what you’re currently doing and try something new? As the founder of a career platform for women, I spend my days speaking with people who want to change careers but aren’t interested in starting over. They’re terrified that taking risks might mean losing everything they’ve achieved. They agonize about explaining “gaps” on their resume during an interview or at networking events. Lucky for them (and you), I have good news: changing careers doesn’t mean sacrificing your past. It means building from the experience you have and leveraging that in a strategic way. What’s more? There’s a simple (seriously, it’s four steps) way to incorporate both your career change and past experience into your elevator pitch. It’s the perfect solution to that dreaded question: “So, what do you do?” for those of us who, frankly, have done a whole lot.
1. Introduce Yourself
Start your elevator pitch by telling them who you are, what you do, and something that interests you.
Example: I’m a Social Media Manager at a healthcare company and a total foodie.
2. Outline Your Previous Experience
It’s time to come clean about your past. Introduce some of your previous experience even if it’s not relevant to what you do now—or want to do. It’s still part of the unique story that makes you, you.
Example: I’ve been working in social media for five years and I’m constantly attending (and tweeting!) healthcare conferences. Listening to so many health food companies discuss the effects that eating healthier can have on our bodies, the idea of holistic nutrition really caught my attention. I’ve even been inspired to take a few cooking classes
3. Connect The Dots
Here’s where you’re going to connect your favorite parts of what you do now to what you want to do in the future.
Example: I love working in social media. It’s great to have the opportunity to build relationships with our customers and engage with them directly. For me, the opportunity to teach our audience about healthier eating habits is the highlight of my day.
4. Introduce Your Career Change
Finally, bring it all together and introduce the career change you’re seeking. The person already has a good idea of what you’re currently doing so it’s important to make it very clear what you want to do next.
Example: That’s why I’ve decided to pursue a new career working in brand management for a health food company.
Your elevator pitch is an important step toward better communicating your career change without letting go of the experience you already have. The added bonus is that it keeps you on track, reminding you why you decided to make the change in the first place. Take some time to draft your elevator pitch (or use this FREE worksheet I created to help you) so you’re comfortable telling it to people at networking events, interviews, etc. Ten bucks says you’ll meet more than a few career changers who totally relate.