Backward step can drive you on

Q: I’m going for a job which will see me go backwards to hopefully go forwards. I’m afraid in the interview they will be wondering why I will take a cut in pay, and a reduction in responsibilities. How do I handle this? I’m a software engineer but I need to expand into a different area because my current speciality is dwindling. (EE, email).

Liam Horan, BALLINROBE Tel: 094 95 42965

A: I think it’s best to tell them the truth – namely that you realise you need to change to establish new skills in an area that is becoming more and more important in the overall IT sector, writes Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers. 

You could point out that any self-respecting IT person must adapt to compete in an ever-changing world. Sometimes the adaptation involves a major leap; in other cases, it is more subtle and less dramatic.

Going backwards to go forwards strikes me as a sign of professionalism in this instance. If you stayed on the old path, you would become irrelevant. The onus is on you to persuade them of the wisdom of your move in the interview.