Are you considering a career shift? Then you could use some practical tips on starting over in a new industry.
It’s not uncommon to reach a point in your career where the spark has faded, and you long for personal growth, a better work-life balance, or the fulfillment of a long-held passion. Not to mention a heftier paycheck.
If this resonates with you, it might be time to consider switching industries. However, embarking on such a transition is more than just a whim; it’s a journey of self-discovery and tenacity.
Here are some useful tips when starting over in a new industry:
1. Explore New Horizons
To make a successful industry transition, start by broadening your horizons. Dive into your interests and options. Are you drawn to the technological advances of the IT world or the dynamic nature of marketing?
Attend industry conferences, webinars, and networking events to gain an insider’s perspective. Engage with professionals in different fields on platforms like LinkedIn or industry-specific forums. Job shadowing can also provide valuable hands-on experience. Evaluate each option against your personal goals, job satisfaction, growth opportunities, and financial expectations.
When venturing into unfamiliar territory, online platforms become invaluable resources for finding new opportunities. For example, if you explore PWC jobs by Lensa, you’ll discover a wide range of roles that could ignite your interest and kickstart your journey in a new industry.
These positions offer the chance for a fresh start or can even serve as a source of supplemental income during your transition phase. By utilizing these resources, you empower yourself to explore and embrace a variety of career paths that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
2. Capitalize on Transferable Skills
Taking the plunge into a new industry shouldn’t be equated with starting on a blank canvas. On the contrary, you bring with you a trove of invaluable assets – your skills and experience.
Time management, communication, teamwork, and critical thinking are transferable skills that showcase your adaptability. These universal skills are often more valued than industry-specific knowledge or experience because they underscore your ability to thrive in varied environments.
Highlight these skills on your resume and during job interviews, demonstrating how they bring value to prospective employers. For example, if you’re moving from a teaching role to a corporate setting, your ability to explain complex concepts in an understandable way is a major asset.
3. Dig Deep with Research
Due diligence is vital before making any career shift. Ensure that you’re not jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Every industry has its challenges, so it’s important to get a realistic picture of your chosen field.
Seek insights from industry professionals through informational interviews. Stay informed about trends and challenges by subscribing to industry publications or newsletters. Join online communities to access unfiltered opinions and advice.
Test the waters before you commit. Taking online courses or part-time roles in your free time can give you a taste and feel of being in the new industry you are targeting. It enables you to gauge if you can thrive and grow in this setting.
4. Take the Leap
Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to make your move. Begin by updating your resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter to reflect your new industry focus. Highlight your transferable skills and explain why you’re making this transition.
Show potential employers how your past experience benefits them in your new industry. Prepare for interviews by researching common questions and industry jargon. Show potential employers how your experience benefits them in your new industry.
Transitioning to a new industry can come with its fair share of challenges. Learn to embrace these challenges and treat them as opportunities for growth. Be patient, persistent, and positive, and you’ll soon establish your footing in the new field.
5. Expand Your Network
It’s often said that “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” In a 2016 LinkedIn survey, it was reported that up to 85% of jobs are filled via networking. This principle holds true, especially when you’re starting over in a new industry.
Building relationships with professionals in your targeted industry can provide insider knowledge and potential job leads or business opportunities.
Leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and industry-specific online communities to connect with professionals in your new chosen field. Actively participating in these platforms by sharing insightful articles, commenting on posts, and joining relevant group discussions can increase your visibility and engagement with others.
Attend industry events, webinars, and trade shows for networking opportunities. You can meet industry leaders, gain insights into industry trends, and understand the realities of working in that field at these events.
6. Seek Mentorship from Industry Veterans
Mentorship is another crucial element when switching industries. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, mentees reported higher levels of career satisfaction and fewer job stressors.
Seek individuals who are experienced in your new industry and are open to guiding newcomers. A mentor can provide practical advice, and emotional support, and help you navigate and overcome the challenges ahead.
Remember that most, if not all, successful people in history have received some form of mentorship at one point or another. Consider this: Alexander the Great was tutored by Aristotle, who studied under Plato, who in turn, was a student of Socrates. Do you get the picture? All great men, but each one started as a pupil.
7. Acquire New Skills
Transitioning to a new industry often requires acquiring new skills. A survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that 87% of workers believe that it is essential to train and develop new skills throughout their work life to keep up with the ever-changing workplace.
Identify key skills needed in your new industry. These could be technical skills or industry-specific knowledge. Use resources like job advertisements, industry reports, and informational interviews to create a list of skills you need to develop.
Practical experience through internships or part-time roles can provide invaluable industry-specific skills and demonstrate your willingness to improve as well as your commitment to potential employers.
8. Value Continuous Education
Technological advancement has never been as rapid as today at any point in history. And, it will continue on its track at breakneck speed. What is new just a few years back is already obsolete nowadays. So, to stay ahead or at least keep up with the trend, we must continue learning.
Consider enrolling in online courses or certificate programs that can provide the necessary training in your chosen field. Websites like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses in a wide range of subjects and can often provide industry-recognized certifications.
The process of transitioning into a new industry is a journey of continuous learning and growth. Be patient with yourself and stay open to new experiences.
Switching industries can be daunting, but it’s a journey that can lead to immense personal and professional growth. By thoroughly preparing, you can make sure the grass is truly greener on the other side.
Take the leap, embrace change, and remember that pursuing a fulfilling career is never too late. With determination and resilience, you can navigate the challenges and discover a new path to success.
To illustrate the possibilities of an industry switch, consider the story of Anna, a former banker turned successful graphic designer. Driven by her passion for art, Anna leveraged her financial expertise to land a job at a creative agency that values data-driven design.
Anna’s story is a testament that, with the right skills and determination, transitioning to a new industry can lead to a fulfilling and successful career.
Embrace the journey and let your career soar. It may not always be smooth sailing, but discovering the courage and resilience within you makes everything worthwhile.