A change of industry can sometimes be the perfect solution to get you out of trouble. The right approach to achieve that is often not found intuitively. However, it may be easier than you think.
Situations you typically face this challenge in
Here are three typical situations in which you would have to find a good job in a field you haven’t yet gained work experience in:
- You’ve already lost your job in an industry strongly affected by macroeconomic developments or you fear that this could happen soon.
- You currently have a job in an industry that doesn’t pay much in general and want a better-paid job.
- You’ve simply developed an interest in changing the type of job for personal reasons.
What the challenge exactly consists of
When applying for a job, you would normally use the experience gained in your previous positions within your industry as the main argument to convince the hiring managers that you are the perfect match. But when applying for a job in a different field, that experience presented in the same way is likely to have no convincing power anymore.
The most important questions to ask yourself at the beginning
- 1. Are you sure you will do a great job for the new employer in the different industry if you are entrusted with the position you’re about to apply for?
- 2. What are the specific arguments to support your conviction?
If you are convinced that you will excel in the new position even though it is in an industry new to you and assuming your assertion is actually true, there must be tangible arguments for it that hiring managers can be convinced by as well. That reduces the challenge to a matter of smart communication!
Managers don’t actually care about your past. They do care about your future if they entrust you with the job. To help them decide in your favor, you need to give them a convincing explanation of all supporting arguments for it.
The following tips are supposed to help you with it:
- You need to find out about and understand the specific requirements of the position of interest in the new industry particularly well.
- You need to extract the key elements for success in the new position from your findings.
- You need to link relevant individual pieces of your previous experience to those key elements of success.
- You need to identify as many potential counter-arguments as possible before you apply and prepare evidence from your background that will refute them.
- Do always consider all kinds of previous experience you have (including hobbies, voluntary work, internships, etc.) and do not limit your list of arguments to merely professional ones.
- In the end, that all must form an “orderly” story that you can tell well.
- Your story should also put some emphasis on the particular benefits that come with hiring an outsider for the company in the new industry.
- Organize your CV / résumé in a way that presents your full profile of experience relevant to the NEW field on the very first page.
- Do not forget about the importance of professional networking for finding a great job in such a situation.