Panel Discussion and Video Statements at the ESCP Europe Business School: Pathways to the Economy

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Recently, I was invited to a panel discussion at ESCP Europe Berlin. The topic: Ways in the economy for career changers. With exciting results.

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Here writes for you: Simone Janson is a publisher, German Top20 blogger and HR communication consultant. Profile

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Opportunities for cross-borderers


The question that came up for us was: what opportunities do newcomers to the market have today? For one thing, as my co-deputy Peter Kraushaar, Business Coach and Brand Consultant at 9p strategy, has noted, there are, in particular, larger companies with distinctive diversity management or management consultancies that are open to career changers who often come from the humanities.

And Sebestian Horndasch, Program Manager at the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, also notes that newcomers are frequently sought after. And even a humanities scholar can become CEO of a DAX company. But, he also limits: Of course, they also need additional qualifications.

Special knowledge and additional qualifications needed


This is also true for the IT industry, which is the most penetrating for cross-borderers. At least I know an astounding number of spiritual scientists from orchid compartments, which today have a more technical career. This is also due to the high pressure on innovation, which means that technical development is progressing faster than training courses.

As a result, programmers with specialized knowledge, such as touchscreen programming, are often asked to find their way out. In addition to rare specialists, people are also in demand here who are ready and able to get involved.

What is the chance for a career changer?


Accordingly, one thinks quickly about the subject of professional deficit, a catchword, which the media but also the policy of the federal government long ago determined. And the question arises: Can the cross-contestant help?

As in our ARD program "The fairy tale of skilled labor"But it would be a mistake to speak of a nationwide shortage of skilled workers. Not infrequently the problem is from the Company home-made, for example because they offer an unattractive job and / or location. And not a few companies then seek their skilled workers at a reduced cost abroad. The logic shortage of skilled labor = opportunity for lateral entrants is therefore to be treated with caution.

The communication needs to be improved


We were asked to make a statement in the run-up to the discussion. I pleaded for one Improve communication between companies and professionalsto lessen frustration on both sides. The problem is already evident in job advertisements, which are often inaccurate and formulated for applicants who do not know the code. I also wrote a blog post recently about the mismatching between applicants and companies.

Companies tend to see many disadvantages when they hire newcomers, and they can profit as much as they can, innovation. Whoever thinks differently brings fresh air into the company. Unfortunately, many companies are busy circles of equals, because many managers and staff prefer to hire people who are similar to them. This, unfortunately, very human trait then leads to the fact that it is difficult to think differently, that is to say, those who are on the road. And many companies simmer in their own juice.

Recruiting processes must change


In order for career chances to have a chance, recruitment needs to change in general. Frequently, non-professional applications are sorted out so that the applicants have no chance to present themselves in person.

One approach, which is already practiced in some companies, is that, instead of the HR department, the employees, ie the team itself, recommend new colleagues or even set them up completely. As a rule, they focus less on the professional qualifications, but on who really fits into the team.

What can transversers do?


But how can newcomers do it to convince companies of their abilities. What should one graduate from the field z. B. German studies or Chinese studies guess if he or she decides to switch to business? Is there a patent remedy at all?

On the one hand, one should remember his very specific abilities. For example, as a humanities scholar, these are ethical thinking (eg corporate responsibility or intercultural competences - just Chinese or even - somewhat simpler - French can be a staggeringly few people in everyday business life.

Leakiness as a deficiency


And as Peter Kraushaar and Sebastian Horndasch aptly commented: Without the special knowledge that the company needs, you have no chance as a career changer. Then, as a newcomer, you also have to think carefully about what you really want: Only those who are convinced of their actions can convince others.

Perhaps there is a great weakness in the career of those who cross the road: they are often very jumpy and unsteady, or at least give this impression. Since many companies are afraid, the employee is quickly gone.

Humanities scholar as CEO?


Only those who manage to counteract this fear with employers also has a chance for career changers. This is usually achieved through self-initiative and entrepreneurial thinking.

The philosopher Steven Affeldt has even lately pointedly formulated that people with accounting degrees become accountants; People with a degree in philosophy, but CEOs. I think that's a little over the top. Certainly a CEO needs visions, creativity, and entrepreneurial thinking - traits commonly denied to a bookkeeper with a bean counter mentality, which may not be true.



However, entrepreneurial thinking is not necessarily taught in a study of the humanities, on the contrary: while studying generally helps to learn independent work and to break through, for example, through a thesis. Frequently, however, economic thinking is corrected rightly to a spiritologist.

This is also due to the fact that entrepreneurial thinking in Germany is generally viewed rather negatively and that the picture is changing only slowly, for example through the introduction of entrepreneurial programs - including the ESCP.

3 tips for career changers


In the end, we should give each three tips, which should be taken into consideration by those who wish to reorient themselves. Here are my tips.

  1. Think carefully about where to go. Collecting experience.
  2. Make contacts, ask people who do it, where you want to go - networks, networks, networks.
  3. And in the end, when you realize that you can not get on with your qualifications like this: Maybe you have a further education or postgraduate studies, eg in business or technical areas.

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