Trying to switch industries or career is not an easy task and requires effort, especially because getting a new job in your current industry may be hard enough.
However, it’s not an impossible feat. It’s achievable and I know because I just recently completed my transition from law to human resources. The most important thing is planning ahead for this adventurous journey.
In the Zinny Factor Reader Survey, one of the topics that were requested was to give detailed information on how to go about transitioning career. This reader particularly said: healthcare to business industry. I am not familiar with the healthcare industry but from my career journey, I believe I will provide valuable information to you.
Also, this request was a little too broad to give a specific suggestion. So, if you were the person that sent in this request, please send an email to [email protected] and we will have a private chat so that I can help tailor specific suggestions that meet your needs.
In the meantime, this post has been designed to fit just about any industry, and I’m positive that it’ll be beneficial to everyone!
I have several articles in the past that relate to career transition in one way or another. Please take time out to read through all of them as they’ll all be useful to you.
Here are tips to help you successfully transition your career.
Personally, I believe that doing your research is really important. I’ve noticed that some people would rather ask friends or colleagues for suggestions. While this is not a bad idea, it’s equally important for you to do your own research because it’s your life and what may work for someone else may not be the same for you.
It’s important for you to be better informed. So consider where you intend to practice this new career that you want to delve into.
For me, after working with a human resources team for a while in Nigeria, I knew that I wanted to study HR, but I also wanted a change of environment and so I was considering Canada. All the same, I had to do my research well ahead of time to be sure that the industry wasn’t dying out in this new location. I had to research on whether this area of practice had job growth/ availability.
Here are things to research on depending on the new industry you are considering:
- Will this industry still be available in another 10 years?
- Will there be jobs or are the jobs dying out? Evaluate employment trends in your geographical location
- Consider whether the jobs will be reduced by the use of technology and plan a strategy to tilt towards the technological aspect of your prospective career
- How much do these jobs pay or what is the pay rate (in this new industry)?
- Will there be possible career growth in this industry?
- Look out on LinkedIn for people who also transitioned from your present career to your prospective career. Compare how each person transitioned. You will find out through their education and previous/ present jobs
- Research on whether an education in your prospective industry will be compulsory for you to succeed
- If an education is required, compare different schools and their tuition rates. With this information, consider whether you need to school full-time or part-time
- If you need to school, consider how you will manage finances (make contingency plans)
- Identify similarities between your present industry experience and prospective industry no matter how little
- Subscribe to online letters and blogs in your prospective industry and begin reading and getting familiar with terminologies
Many people hate to do research because it takes a lot of time and dedication, but if you really want to have a successful career transition, you need to invest your time in researching. It’ll prevent any mishap and you will have a smooth transition. You’d also be prepared for challenges you may have to face in the future because you’d have a good structure to proceed with.
- Tweak your resume
This is very important. If you are considering a switch in career, you should ensure that you play down the industry of your previous experience and find areas that align to your prospective industry.
For example, I have a background in law and I was switching over to human resources. In my resume, I left out things like going to represent a client in Court or drafting legal documents. Rather, I replaced this with a sentence that explained that I had drafted several documents for internal and external firm initiatives in the past. This will show that I have good writing skills which are also important for a career in human resources.
You want your resume to show that you have soft skills that will be valuable to this new industry you are considering. Hope you get the drift?
A good cover letter is equally important. Please try to spend as much time writing one. It shouldn’t be too long or too short and shouldn’t exceed one page.
Also, remember that you’d have to make several applications to have a higher chance of landing your dream job in your dream industry. I recommend applying to nothing less than eighty jobs per day. That sounds like so much work, but trust me, it’s for the best and you’ll find out in subsequent posts so get subscribed.
Also, always ensure that you tailor your resume to soothe your location or that of where you’d want to work. Personally, I learned over time that the type of resume I would have used in Nigeria could never be the same type for Canada.
Example, in Nigeria, you may have to write your state of origin and age in your resume, but in Canada, you are not required to write your nationality or age, and the law provides for this.
If you need help with redrafting your resume or writing a cover letter to fit into that of a new industry, please don’t hesitate to contact me or send an email to [email protected]. I’d be more than happy to help!
- Elevator pitch
As someone transitioning, it’s always a good idea to have a great and succinct elevator pitch or speech because you never know who you’d encounter. It’s a good idea to have a pitch that sells you as someone passionate about this new industry you want to delve into. You should be prepared to share this pitch with anyone, at any time, especially decision makers.
- Practice humility
Deciding to switch career to an extent may mean that you need to start from scratch in building your career. But quite honestly, it all depends on the level of career you are.
For example, a sales person could work in any other industry, all that would be changing would be the industry, but the soft skills needed would still be the same and so would be the function.
However, be willing to adapt to change and show passion. I feel that humility helps a lot in career transition because you’d be willing to go through challenges as long as it leads you towards your ultimate goal: a career change.
- Be passionate
If you are serious about a career change there should be a motivating factor and this should show. Let your passion shine. For me, it was starting a blog that deals with human resources and workplace issues. For you, it could be different.
I can’t begin to tell you how important this blog is to me, how it has improved my skills and opened new doors for me. So find out ways that you can stay relevant while transitioning career.
Also, bear in mind that depending on your prospective industry, it may be beneficial to compromise on compensation and job title in your next job (for the new industry). The important thing should be to get your foot in the door. Remember to keep your eyes on the goal and you will go even further!
Have you ever transitioned career? How did it go? Please share in the comment section. If you are considering a switch in career, I hope these tips are useful to you!
P.S. I apologize if this post is too long for you, I just really wanted to share so much with you. I hope you find it valuable.
If you need clarifications, please don’t hesitate to contact me: [email protected]
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