Why Can’t I Find a Job in My Field?

Can’t seem to land the right job? There are a lot of reasons why job seekers are struggling to find good positions in their primary field of expertise. 

Every jobseeker knows there is a world of difference between finding a job and finding a good job, i.e. a position that offers career opportunities in their specific field of employment. Yet more and more jobseekers are discovering that jobs in their fields are few and far between.

The simple truth is that there can be many factors behind a scarcity of open positions in any given career field. Some industries experience employment cycles, while other may be experiencing the effects of a long-term decline.

But more often than not, the inability to find good jobs in your field can be attributed to a handful of causes – nearly all of which can be overcome with a little effort and resourcefulness.

Lack of Experience

Job hunters sometimes enter the employment market based on a desire to transition into a slightly different career path. Let’s say you have a successful ten-year track record in pharmaceutical sales and would now like to transition into pharmaceutical marketing. Although it isn’t an impossible transition, your lack of marketing experience may be hampering your job search.

SOLUTION: If possible, talk to your current employer about your desire to gain experience in a slightly different career area. Otherwise, consider temporarily accepting a lesser position until you can gain enough experience to compete for the most attractive positions in your field.

Wrong Degree

Educational credentials may – or may not – be the reason why you’re not able to land a position in your desired field. Although some positions have obvious educational requirements (e.g. corporate attorney or medical doctor), others are more flexible when it comes to required degrees (e.g. account executive or nonprofit development professional).

SOLUTION: Carefully research the educational requirements for the position. If successful candidates appear to come from a variety of educational backgrounds, you may need to do a better job making a case for the reasons why your degree has prepared you for the position.

Too Many Qualified Applicants

Unfortunately, some fields have far more applicants than available positions. For example, several years ago nurses were in short supply in many areas. To take advantage of hiring shortages, students poured into nursing schools, eventually resulting in a glut of qualified nursing candidates.

SOLUTION: In competitive career fields, it’s critically important to differentiate yourself from other job applicants. Consider retooling your qualifications to leverage specialization and other features that may make you irresistible to a smaller group of employers.


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