To help you best transition industries in your career, we asked career coaches and business leaders this question for their best advice. From creating a financial cushion for support to engaging with the right professionals on LinkedIn, there are several practical tips that may help you best maneuver your career change from one industry to another.
Here are 12 tips for transitioning industries in your career:
- Create a Financial Cushion for Support
- Consider Owning a Franchise
- Don’t Be Ashamed of Switching Fields
- Clarify and Focus on Where You Want to Be
- Attend Industry Events
- Subscribe To Industry Publications Or Websites
- Uncover Milestones in Your New Field
- Find a Mentor in The New Area To Guide You
- Focus on Transferable Skills
- Ask for Help From Friends
- Get Ready To Double Your Efforts
- Connect and Engage With Professionals on LinkedIn
Create a Financial Cushion for Support
It’s normal to feel anxious over making a career change, but you’re presumably doing it for the right reasons. Changing careers, on the other hand, sometimes means beginning from a position that is lower than your present one. As a result, the greatest professional advice I can give you is to create a financial “buffer” that you can tap into until things really take off in your new career.
Hector Ruiz, BBQ Grill Academy
Consider Owning a Franchise
Transitioning industries may seem like an impossible challenge to overcome. However, one path people can take is to consider owning a business through franchising. The best franchise models will provide full training and ongoing support to the franchisee, and so you don’t need to have industry experience. Of course, it’s important to do your research and see which industry and franchise might be right for you. Franchising is also a great way for military veterans to transition into business ownership.
Chris B., Minuteman Press International
Don’t Be Ashamed of Switching Fields
As someone who explored many careers in my early professional life (from law school to marketing to running a team building company), my best tip for transitioning industries is not to be ashamed of not fitting in the first field you try. Most professionals in the modern world cycle through multiple jobs, and few folks stay in one industry for the entirety of their careers. Having experience from other industries can give you a unique perspective and advantage in the job market and new roles. Not to mention, the topic can be a great conversation starter and a way to connect with new coworkers. Instead of hiding your earlier work, embrace it and find ways it can benefit you in your new working journey.
Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding
Clarify and Focus on Where You Want to Be
Do you know which industry, or sector, you want to go into? Figuring out your game plan is the key to successfully transitioning industries. For instance, where will your skills and experience be of the most use? More importantly, what do you really see yourself doing? Where do you think you can make a difference? Deciding all that first, will give you clarity and focus to drive your career transition. Good Luck!
Linda Scorzo, Hiring Indicators
Attend Industry Events
If you, like many others during this time, are considering a career transition, you should try to attend at least one industry event within the space you are looking to move into. At these events you can attend different talks that can give you a glimpse into what a typical workday will look like. You can also start to gain quality contacts that can give you their thoughts on how to best break into the industry as well as quality information on their experience working within that space. Who knows, these contacts can even become references that can help you land that first job.
Brandon Brown, GRIN
Subscribe to Industry Publications Or Websites
Learn the lingo and trends of the industry that you are considering by subscribing to industry publications, podcasts, websites, LinkedIn groups, etc. You will be able to demonstrate your understanding of the industry, including challenges and opportunities, and articulate how your previous experience is relevant during an interview. You will also gain a deeper understanding if the new industry is an area where you can be successful.
Scott Baker, Stage 3 Leadership
Uncover The Milestones in Your New Field
Beginner’s Syndrome or even Imposter’s Syndrome is nearly inevitable when you’re transitioning from one industry to another. A way to curb the fear of inadequacy is to take time to chat with peers and research the milestones you can expect to hit as you move forward. For instance, if you’re transitioning into educational technology, some of the early milestones might be to understand the prominent learning theories that instructional designers focus on. A more graduated milestone might be mastering a learning management system (LMS). If on day one you haven’t mastered the LMS, knowing that there are many stepping stones before you get there will make the transition less stressful.
Carla Andre-Brown, Mailbird
Find a Mentor in The New Area To Guide You
Think about getting a mentor. Finding a mentor in your area is helpful since they have already been in your shoes and have the expertise necessary to provide you with the most effective advice to become successful. Keep in mind that the shift into a new job or sector can be difficult at first; finding people to connect with and the skills you need can be a scary process. Working with a mentor can help you get started on the correct path. Mentors can also recognize your existing talents and areas for improvement. Mentors also have important connections in the sector, which might help you along your path.
Ryan Warner, 1AND1 Life
Focus on Transferable Skills
Transferable skills are those that can easily be leveraged across industries and sectors. Professionals who are pursuing a career transition should focus on identifying and then amplifying the skills they have that are value additive across industry and sector. They should think broadly about the skills they’ve gained in different job roles, community engagement, leadership initiatives, degree programs, and even within the home.
You can assess transferable skills by assessing the skills you leverage that are equally as beneficial to a specific role. While the skill may have been used in one way within one sector, that same skill could be reengineered to support another sector. An example might be: critical thinking. The skill could have been used to improve operational processes within the tech industry but be reengineered to support special projects in the transportation industry. The same mindset and competencies can provide value and steer innovation within a new space or place.
Chelsea C. Williams, Reimagine Talent Co.
Ask for Help From Friends
Remember your classmates. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you went to college with that may be able to help with a referral. Put yourself in your college friend’s shoes. If you could help her you would, right? A referral from someone within the company is worth more than almost any amount of experience! Scroll your alumni Facebook page!
Erin Banta, Pepper
Get Ready To Double Your Efforts
Transitioning industries, even when it is a well-thought-out move, requires extra work. For starters, you have to acknowledge that people who work the same job positions in different industries handle very different tasks and responsibilities. For example, even a generic position like that of a personal assistant will have a very different profile from one industry to another. So get ready to double your efforts and know that despite the experience you may have in your position, shifting industries would mean learning just about everything from scratch.
Kris Harris, Nootka Saunas
Connect and Engage With Professionals on LinkedIn
As you’re considering a transition, start connecting with people on LinkedIn who hold positions you’d like to have. Pay attention to what they’re posting and engage with their posts. Once you’ve formed an online rapport with them, ask them if they would be open to a phone call for some career advice. Most people want to be helpful especially if you’ve demonstrated that you’re sincerely interested in what they do.