Dietetic Career Makeover – How to Switch Jobs Within the Dietetic Industry
Many dietitians already wear multiple hats and have an abundant skillset. However, how do you make the jump from one field within the dietetic industry (such as clinical) to another field (such as communications)? Switching to a new niche can seem daunting. NutritionJobs caught up with fellow colleagues to get their top tips on How to Switch Jobs Within the Dietetic Industry. It can be done successfully. You just need the confidence and know-how. – Sarah
Get Further Education: “In my 30s, after a career in software development, I became very interested in nutrition. One of the first steps I took to see if I wanted to pursue a career in the field was to enroll in a community college Intro to Nutrition class. This allowed me to see if this was a field I was interested in without committing to a full degree program. When deciding to change jobs within the dietetics industry, the same strategy can be applied. Pursue a new certification in the industry, take continuing education courses in the area you are interested in, or shadow a dietitian that is already doing the kind of work you think you want to do.” – Stephanie Dillingham, NDTR, Founder of Three Square Nutrition, Twitter: @becominggreen.
Develop Additional Skills: “I was a clinical/hospital dietitian for 23+ years. I made the switch to consulting by gradually gaining more skills while I was a clinical RDN. I went part time at the hospital and worked in a community agency to gain writing and presentation skills. I taught as an adjunct instructor to get more presentation skills and teaching experience. I volunteered to write for a few nutrition websites early on to get my name out there.”- Lisa C. Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, Owner of Sound Bites Nutrition, LLC.
Volunteer & Network: “The power of volunteering lies not only in the act of giving back to our profession, but really centers on the friendships you build with fellow dietitians. When you volunteer for your local and state dietetic associations, you get to know dietitians in all areas of practice, including the jobs that you’re most interested in moving into. Not all job positions are advertised. Or the positions are advertised after a potential candidate is clearly the winner. The more dietitians you know, the more likely it is that they’ll think of you the next time there is an opening, before the rest of the world hears about it.” – Julie Stefanski, MEd, RDN, Food, Nutrition & Dietetics Content Writer for Relias.
Join a Dietetic Practice Group: “My biggest tip when switching jobs within the industry is to join a Dietetic Practice Group (DPG) within the Academy which focuses on your new area of practice. Once you join, become involved in the DPG by holding a position so others get to know you and recognize your name. Network with the group members through social media and in-person or online events and ask questions to members as they can provide guidance and resources. Also, take advantage of the free mentorship opportunities some DPGs provide, which is valuable for additional support.” – Janine Faber, MEd, RDN, LD, Founder of Janine Faber Nutrition, LLC, Instagram:@janine.faber.nutrition.
Value Your Worth: “Don’t undersell yourself! You might think that your current job and your dream job have nothing in common, but there are always relevant skills and duties, you just have to have confidence and sell it. If you’re unsure what skills would be applicable in your dream job, talk to friends or search out other dietitians in that job and ask them to describe their day-to-day to you.” – Stephanie Van’t Zelfden, RDN, Founder of Nutrition Hungry, Twitter: @nutritionhungry.
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