A recent study done by Deloitte Consulting for Forbes stated that Two out of Three People are Looking to Change Jobs. What does this mean? The job market is yours for seizing – and you’re not alone. If you’re considering a career change, here are some tips to help you explore your options and choose a new career outside your current industry.
Let your character testify to your ability.
The most important part about transitioning between one career to another starts not with the job search, but with the job you’re trying to leave. You can’t burn any bridges – it’s important to end your job being seen as a valuable contributor and a good employee.
For instance, will your interviewer at a marketing company ask your old engineering supervisor whether they really (really really) think you’re able to handle switching industries? Probably not. Will they ask your old supervisor whether you’re versatile, adaptable, and willing to accept challenges? Most likely. You want someone to be able to testify to your character.
At the end of the day, the work experience in your resume is a list – quantifiable, definite, and probably impressive. What impresses people more, however, is the person behind the resume. If you can show people that you’re passionate and willing to enter an industry with open arms, it’s likely they’ll receive you with arms equally as wide.
Get down with the details – do your research.
The most important part about changing industries is knowing both why you’re changing industries, and which industry you want to change into. Once you’ve selected an industry which interests you, learn, learn, learn. Hit the books harder than a skateboarder grinding a rail: make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Read blogs about key industry players, look into the industry’s most revered firms and its newest companies.
Companies are built by people. Once you’ve looked into the companies, look into the manpower driving them. Google the job title that you want and create a grocery list of the skills required for the job. Once you know what your future industry is looking for, it’s time to highlight what makes you a fit on your resume and in an interview.
There are universal skills, connections, and reasons connecting you to any industry.
When we asked our Identified community about what they thought a good means of switching industries was, we got some pretty good recommendations. One of them said the following:
I would find something common between the two, being it the supply line, the marketing, the size of the industry, the amount of people you worked with, etc. Try to use that common interest to bridge the gap and show how they are both similar, and how you can easily use that to have ‘experience’ already. I did when moving from retail to management, to an actual sales job, and then to marketing, and now marketing management. They all had the common thread of working with people and sales. That could also be said of different industries that both had a similar corporate setting, or both had a similar methodology.
- Brian Thomaston via Google+
Brian brings up a good point – there are common threads that run between all careers which can, and should be utilized. Highlight these threads such as the one mentioned by Brian in your cover letter, and focus on a different part of your experience. For example, if you’ve worked in the Sales Department of an Investment Bank and are attempting to move into a Finance position, emphasize the exposure to quantitative data that you’ve had.
Remember that list of skills I asked you to make earlier? Analyze why those skills are needed, and what you’ve done that shows you have similar experience. Write about this in your cover letter and let your experience support your own passion.
Allow yourself to fail.
When changing careers remember not to be too hard on yourself. Getting the job isn’t the only hard part; it’s likely that you’ll have to struggle while trying to get up to speed while you’re in the new job. Everyone starts somewhere, everyone fails. But don’t get discouraged, your brain is a resource constantly at your disposal and you can keep training it to learn whatever you want.
Did I forget anything? There’s a lot to consider in changing careers, and the more advice the merrier! Chime in below to share your advice or look at similar articles:
- You Don’t Have to be a Perfect Employee, Just Be Teachable
- How to Prepare for a Job Interview
- The Secret to The Perfect Resume