Sharmini Wainwright is managing director of Michael Page & Page Personnel Hong Kong. With over 13 years’ experience with PageGroup, she oversees specialist recruitment across finance, financial services, sales & marketing, legal and more.
From government to commercial
I have been doing government investment promotion for years, how can I get back to commercial field?
Sharmini Thomas - Career Doctor
Posted Tuesday 7th May 2013 10:18:00 PM
Your question about transitioning from the government sector back into the commercial sector is a theme that we see when the economy is doing well and also in growth mode. The ease in which you will be able to move back to the commercial sector will depend on your professional experience gained so far. Hong Kong, as an employment market, tends to prefer hiring individuals with a demonstrated track record in an area rather than 'taking a risk' and hiring someone with capability and no experience. Therefore, if you have previous experience within the commercial sector in a similar investment and marketing oriented role, you will be positioned well. I would advise you to re-ignite contact with everyone in your network from your commercial sector days, and ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated so that you can be found. Begin researching and looking into roles that are available in the market and use agencies that specialise in recruiting professionals in that area. It's also important to think about the differences in the benefits offered between the two sectors - security, working hours, remuneration and career succession are all key aspects to consider and weigh up. In terms of making your transition happen, I would encourage you to focus on three specific areas. Firstly, assess your current skill set and whether there are areas where you need to upgrade your knowledge or skill. An example is where legislation or policy has changed and progressed, and you now need to ensure you are updated on the key components. Similarly, there may be some courses available for you to revise and update on the particular subject matter. Secondly, think about the level in which you want to target 'returning' to the commercial field. You may need to be slightly flexible in terms of the seniority of the roles you are applying for, and perhaps look one level below your current role. I would advise you to not look at roles that are too junior to your level of experience as it is unlikely that you will be hired for such a post - employers may have some concern around how long you will stay in the role. Thirdly, think about how you want to present yourself and your 'personal brand' in the market. Your best selling tool is your resume, so ensure that this is reflective of experience that will be relevant for someone in the commercial sector to read. Keep it succinct, highlight achievements and demonstrate the progression opportunities you have had within each of your previous roles. This version of your resume should be different to the one you would use to target government sector opportunities. All the best!