Transitioning from one industry to another can be a hard change to make in your career, but there are a few steps you can take to put yourself in the best possible position when you’re going from one field to a different one (whether it’s back to an old one or an entirely new one). Find the answer to these three questions, then contact five people in your geographic area within your industry.
What Do You Want Do Make Happen?
If you know what role(s) you want to fill, you will have a better chance of landing one of those positions. Do you know which company you’d like to target? Are you envisioning an entry-level position or something higher? Remember, in the right situation, taking one step back can pay off later in your career. If you don’t know some of these answers, the next question (and follow-through) can make things much easier.
Who Do You Want To Connect With?
Reach out to five people in your local area in the industry you’re looking to get into. Ask them what people need to do to get into that industry. Mention your recent experience, and show that you admire them with a thoughtful compliment about a recent accomplishment of theirs.
Ask them what qualities, accomplishments and attitude it took for them to get where they are today without asking them directly for a job. If they agree to meet with you or at least give you a response via phone or e-mail, you will have an opportunity to learn even more about the culture of the industry and your target company too.
How Do You Want To Get Results?
Do you have a specific time frame for your process? Ideally, you’ll be able to answer these questions clearly in a timely fashion through your own research and a few discussions with people in the field. With this information at your disposal, you can make sure your job applications are thorough and tailored, finding their way into the right hands at the right time and earning you the chance to speak with your potential employers.
CAREEREALISM founder J.T. O’Donnell goes into a bit more detail in the video above, which is from one of last month’s Career Q&A’s.
No matter which field you’re going into, don’t forget to research the similarities between the tasks you carried out and the ones you will be doing in a new position. Finding likenesses for your skills and the those required in the open job is crucial as well. It may seem odd for someone to be working in a completely different field to have relevant experience, but it is often the case!
If any of you have had success in changing industries, please share your story in the comments.
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