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Does having experience outside of your preferred career field do anything to you?

I do not have a lot of experience (job or otherwise) in the field that I am currently pursuing, however I do have experience in areas such as working in a museum, teaching and working in the arts (glass blowing, painting, sewing..). Is there anyway to incorporate those skills in the environmental field? Can I place these as skills I have on my resume? Thank you!
#environmental-science #experience #resume-writing #museums #art

Thank you comment icon Hey Ashley! To be honest, I think you should go for it! Working in museums and as a teacher are still jobs where you had to practice skills you use in every job like time management, organization, and responsibility. Just make sure you describe the tasks you were entrusted with and the skills you picked up while there. Not only are employers going to appreciate that you have work experience, you artistic background will also make you stand out. This also showcases your creativity, a skill that every environmentalist needs when coming up with solutions for conserving energy and the Earth. So I think you should definitely add it to your resume. Hope this helps and I wish you the best! Mireia
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! That did help quite a bit, though I am still not quite sure how to incorporate the art into my resume. But, I think I can figure that out. Thank you, again! Ashley
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer! I hadn't heard of them being listed as "life experiences" before. I know that all of these experiences are important and helpful, I just wasn't sure about how employers would see them. Ashley

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Deborah’s Answer

As others have said, you can definitely describe your experience in ways that show their value in your preferred/current field. We call these "transferable skills," and the key is to find a way to describe them in the terms of your desired job and field. You mention art in your comment. Some transferable skills from art to environmental science are visual presentation, project planning, and design thinking, not to mention the safety aspects of glass blowing (and maybe even painting, if you ever used potentially toxic materials). Look at the lingo of your new field and decide which of these are most relevant, using the terms from your new field.

You have choices on where/how you incorporate these into your resume. If you are using a summary at the top, you can mention the most relevant ones there, which is a signal for a reader to look for them in the body of the resume. (If your resume is searched digitally, the key words will show up in any case.) And then when you list your experience, focus on the parts of those jobs most relevant to what you are doing now. It's tempting to describe, for example, your museum experience in terms of what mattered most at the time, but prospective employers are much more interested in what you can do for them now. So use your precious resume space (LinkedIn too) to highlight the parts they care about. This takes some thinking usually, but it also preps you very well for networking and interviewing if you can easily and naturally say something like, "When I worked at the museum we were improving our sustainability practices, which led us to change how we....."

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer! I had not been thinking about my experiences and skills within the arts that way, or that they could be made to work like that in a different field. It is something I will definitely be thinking about prior to my next interview, thank you! Ashley
Thank you comment icon Don't forget the eye for details required in glass blowing, painting and sewing. Ashley is already trained to be detail orientated. A very important skill in environmental fields. David Broer-LeRoux
Thank you comment icon Yes! Once you start thinking about the skills needed in your new field, there are likely to be a lot of them. David's right about detail orientation being important in both the arts and the sciences. It's smart to talk to people in your new field and find out which skills they consider important - then ask yourself how you already use/have used these skills in past work, study, leisure, or volunteer activities. Deborah Frangquist
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Courtney’s Answer

Absolutely. It shows that you are well rounded. Before I was a nurse, I worked at a grocery store in high school and that showed customer service skills that I would need in any field. Yes ! Show your worth ! Best wishes !
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Ashley
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Sven-Oliver’s Answer

As this is not a U.S. specific question, I feel entitled to reply too.

I think, that having experience outside of your preferred career field will only help you with your personal skills, showing or prooving your character.

Working in a museum might (im)proove your accuracy,

teaching might (im)proove your patience and your will to foster team mates

and working in the arts might (im)proove your accuracy and patience.

You might want to complete this list of your virtues.

Well, create a list of what you have done so far,

then have someone else to derive the virutes/skills.

Someone else, as it is hard to see yourself.

Is there anyway to incorporate those skills in the environmental field?

I don't know the environmental field, but there are likey "places" where you need to be accurat, patient and willing to foster humans. E.g. educate them how to build a water well with little means.

It might help you to immagine you are billionaire already, who has not to take care about making a living. Then what would you do?

Can I place these as skills I have on my resume?

Yes you should, but change the format and make it easy for others.

If you write "I have been working in a museum." then you leave the work of the conclusion "that must be an accurate person" to the reader. Most likely the reader will not be interested at all.

If you write "I am an accurate person." then everyone (e.g. an employer) can either accept this claim or inquire, asking you why you claim to be accurat, patient and willing to foster humans. Then you can proove your character by giving some "solid" examples like "I have been working in a museum and I have been working in arts. Both require to be accurate" ;-)

Greetings from Germany.


I'm willing to assist naming skills/virtues, when you created a list of what you have done so far.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer! I will definitely have to try that exercise, and see if maybe I just have been unable to fully appreciate the skills I have developed thus far within other fields. Ashley
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Min. Leslie’s Answer

Hi Ashley, you can list them as extracurricular activities. Or if they were volunteering activities you can list that. Also, they can be listed as life experiences. Every experience you have will pay off in the long run.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer! Ashley