Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Switching Industries? 11 Ways To Figure Out The Right Fit

Whether it’s frustration from limitations in their current industry or being shaken by the instability of the job market during Covid-19, many professionals are starting over in their careers, possibly in a new industry entirely. 

But pivoting to a new industry isn’t as simple as mixing and matching your current skill set and hoping it fits. It’s important to examine how your current skills and experience apply to the industry you’re ready to dive into. 

To help you, we asked 11 Young Entrepreneur Council members to share strategies for how to do this and tips for convincing your future employer you’re qualified to make the switch.

1. Define Your Core Skills And Services

To know if your previous life would be valuable to your next venture, you need to first define the core of your skill set and services and keep distilling them down to their broadest possible application. Once you have those written down, if you can reframe them to apply to your future industry, you’re off to the races. For example, a star athlete who doesn’t want to play sports anymore could broadly define his/her core skills to include things like dedication, training, focus, entertainment, personal relations, stress management, willingness to travel or relocate and so on. Now they can easily convert those distilled skills toward becoming a speaker, coach, trainer, commentator, marketer, recruiter, restaurant owner, event coordinator, etc. Try it; you may even learn a little about yourself! – James Behmke, Behmke Innovation Group LLC

2. Know What You Enjoy

Know what you enjoy doing, hone those skills, showcase them and then sell yourself. When you enjoy what you do, work will feel like an enjoyable hobby. When your inspiration for work changes, your source of joy will change as well. If you don’t work for yourself but for other people, your motivation changes and things will automatically be completely different. Find inspiration in more than just selfish thoughts. If you’re motivated with love and passion, it is easy to find happiness in everything you do. – Daisy Jing, Banish

3. Apply Your Skills To Situations That Might Arise

Actually, there are a lot of skills that are applicable and transferable to any industry. For example, if you have experience managing people, that should be relevant to any management position in any industry. The key is how you market them to the hiring manager in the new industry or employer. Apply your current skills to situations that could arise in the new industry and explain how you’d handle things based on your experience. That should do the trick. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

4. Look At Your Sales Skills

A universal trait employers can use is your ability to bring leads and increase conversions. Particularly, when the world is scrambling to respond to the pandemic, employers need skills over your qualifications. For that reason, it’s smart to highlight the monetary results you achieved in your past job rather than showing your experience or previous positions. For instance,  if you’ve previously worked in a managerial role but now you’re applying for a sales position, highlight the results produced in the previous organization. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

5. Assess Where You Can Improve

Before you think about jumping into a new career, you need to assess your abilities and find out where you can improve. Rate yourself honestly, and ask your mentor where they think you can improve. Read books, take part in training classes and join online communities. You can develop your skills regardless of your experience or new industry of choice. However, knowing what you can do versus what you need to know how to do is an excellent start. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

6. Search For Keywords Around The Industry

LinkedIn and job portals are helpful places to do your research. I would type in keywords related to the skills I have and the industry I want to work in. From the results, you can get a clearer picture of whether your skills make sense in another arena. If you want to convince companies that you can switch to a new industry, then you should do a small course within that area. For example, a content writer who wants to become a technical writer should do a technical writing course and some coding courses as well. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Create A Portfolio That Contextualizes Your Skills

I think that many companies are willing to take on people who are proactive and ready to learn. When applying for work, make sure that you read up on the industry and look for examples of other people who have your skills and work in that area. Doing your research and creating a portfolio where you showcase your skills in the context of the area you want to work will give you an edge. When you’re familiar with the industry and can converse about it, you’ll create a positive impression and show hiring personnel that you’re willing to adapt. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

8. Work On Your Transferable Skills

To ensure that your skills and experience apply to other industries, you can work on your transferable skills. These are skills that apply to multiple industries, so even if you choose a new one, you can still do well and thrive. Management, teamwork and problem-solving are all examples of transferable skills that do well across industries. You need these skills for most jobs to complete your tasks and move the company forward. By improving these skills, you set yourself up for success even if you want to start over in your career. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

9. Talk To People In The Industry You’re Moving To

To see if your skills and experience apply to other industries, be open to talking to people in those industries. This will give you a clear picture of what the position is like, how the industry operates, what the day-to-day looks like and more. It’s easier to understand what you’re interested in when you take a good look at it up close. You can determine whether you see yourself working in a new industry and how well you’ll do by observing and having conversations with others who have that experience. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

10. Build A Blog That Showcases Your Skills

The internet has made everything a lot easier. You don’t really need a professional degree to start a career in a particular field. Google can teach you everything you need to get started. Once you know the basics, start your own blog where you can experiment and demonstrate your skills. This will work as a portfolio when you approach a company for work. Just make sure to give your blog a professional touch from the very first day. By doing that you can easily impress your recruiters even without a professional degree or experience in that field. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Start With The Problem You Solve

The value of your work isn’t just in the title of your job. It’s in the results you create and the way you affect people or processes. Start with the problem you solve in your current or past job and then seek such problems in other industries. If you have hard facts as results for the work you’ve done, it’ll be easier to convince employers that you can be of value to them. You can’t find problems you can solve in other industries without studying them. Who are the big players there? What’s the thriving business model and the target market they serve? When you figure out where you fit in the value chain, start meeting your employees with your skills, past results and referrals. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS – Integrated Marketing Solutions

 

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