I often talk to candidates about changing careers and moving into a whole new industry. A thought that many have but don’t know where to start, and so it often goes unexplored. If you’re feeling stuck in your career, or you’re simply ready for a change, here are a few things to keep in mind as you make the transition into a new industry.
Do your research
It’s important to have a solid understanding of the industry you’re interested in, as well as the specific job role you’re targeting. This way, you can be sure that you're making an informed decision when transitioning careers. There are a few key ways to research an industry:
Look at industry reports, which will give you an overview of the current state of the industry, as well as future projections.
Research what progression looks like in the long term. Are there many opportunities in this industry?
Setting your salary expectations
You may need to take a pay cut to enter a new industry and gain experience. Research average salaries vs years of experience to see if a decrease might be worth it in the long term. You may find that a pay cut in the short term could lead to higher earnings in the long term. Of course, there are other factors to consider when making a career change, but if you're willing to accept a lower salary, it could pay off in the end.
Build your network
Do you know anyone in the industry that you can chat to, or maybe you have some common connections with someone on LinkedIn?
Utilize your shared connections to find out the positives and negatives of a new role. Speak with professionals who are already working in the field. They can offer insights into the day-to-day reality of working in the industry, as well as advice on breaking into it or chat with someone who has recently made a similar switch; they can offer first-hand advice on what to expect and how to prepare. By building your network, you'll gain a better understanding of the industry you're interested in and set yourself up for success.
Focus on your skills
What skills have you developed that will cross over into your new industry? This is hugely beneficial and may help your case when negotiating a salary package. As you enter into a new industry, it is important to think about the skills that you have developed in your previous roles and how they can be applied in your new role.
Some examples of transferrable skills include:
All of these skills are highly valued in any industry. Think about how you have utilized these skills in your previous roles and how you could continue to use them in your new role. Demonstrating that you have a wide skill set will show potential employers that you are a valuable asset and will help you to secure a higher salary.
Finally, look at the possibility of volunteering, this will help you gain invaluable experience and open pathways you may not have considered before.
It can be daunting to take a leap of faith and change industries, but I wanted to share the below career planner to help make the first step in making the decision.
If you’re thinking of changing industries and not sure how to approach this, feel free to contact me and I’d be more than happy to assist you.