Think back to when you were a recent graduate from college. You were probably twenty-two, nervous about adulting for the first time in the real world, and were fighting for what you thought was your dream job, or any job for that matter. Seventy-five percent of professionals today still do similar work to what they were doing right out of college. However, fret not. If you do not like what you are doing, you can be part of the one in four Americans who do successfully switch industries, but only if you take the right steps. Before you even consider switching industries, you need to educate yourself about the steps you need to take and implications it may have on your career.
1) Understand Your Transferable Skills
Think that a marketer at Under Armour and USAA have nothing in common? Think again. You would be surprised how many transferable skills you can pull from one industry to another. Employees today develop a diverse set of skills that can be applied in any number of roles. Think about the Under Armour employee. She spends all day creating programs to sort through data and numbers, but so do the USAA marketers when identifying consumer segments and targeting. How about a cultural anthropologist? He spends his day analyzing human daily life to write detailed ethnographies of human culture. So does an Under Armour researcher when they look at consumer behavior and qualitative data. Take a look into your skill set, and you would be surprised how much it may match up with your dream job.
2) Everything Is About to Change
You’re currently the marketing director in the banking industry. You like your job, but you want to get into product marketing and branding at a CPG company. Do not expect that all the benefits you get in the banking industry are going to carry over to the CPG industry. The first thing that professionals notice when switching industries is the difference in salaries. When you are switching industries you have to brace yourself for a number of changes from salary and daily tasks to brand positioning and a number of details. In your new role you are going to be tested to see if you can adjust. Do not let the shock of change keep you from excelling.
3) Do You Want to Change Industries or Change Jobs?
When making your pro and con list make sure the reasons you want to change industries are not job specific. Many people think that because they do not like what they are doing at their current jobs means they won’t like what they would be doing at any job in the industry. Although jobs in the same industry will be similar, they will not be identical. A lot of what makes a job great or terrible is management and who you are working for. Try researching similar positions in the same industry to see how they differ among companies.
4) Tailor Your Resume to Your New Industry
The tools that got you into your current industry won’t get you into a new industry. When you enter a new industry, find the skills and experience that are valued by companies in the industry and tailor your application materials to those in the industry. Your cover letter and resume should reflect why you want to change industries, and what makes you qualified to do so. Ask people in your LinkedIn network to help you craft you new materials. However, if you need more guidance contact us and we will help you successfully make the switch.
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