In some way or another, everyone changes over the years and when we do, our interests, goals and priorities shift. This is a good thing–actually, a great thing! It’s important that we adapt and change as we get older, but sometimes it can be really hard, especially when it affects your career. When you have spent years working crazy hard climbing the career ladder in your industry and then realize you want to switch to a new field, it can be really overwhelming–but it doesn’t have to be. There are actionable steps you can take to feel more in control of your future and help you switch job industries seamlessly.
Think About What You Want
Time to take pen to paper and write down your goals. Decide which industry you want to work in, what companies appeal to you, and what position you would like to hold. This may take some time, so don’t rush this step. Talk it over with family and friends, go on plenty of long walks and do a decent amount of research. This way, you will be certain that you know what you want to do and won’t doubt yourself as much.
Know Your Strengths
Let’s say you spent the first few years of your career working in marketing, but now want to switch to design. Take some time to review your work over the last few years. Did you design any presentations or promotional materials that can show off your taste and skills? Did you take design classes in college for fun? Just because design wasn’t your focus, it doesn’t mean you have zero experience. Find what skills you use in your current position and think of how they can apply to your new goals. You may be surprised at how transferable most skills are.
Hit The Books
If you want to jump to a new industry, you are going to need to prove you are serious about the switch if you want someone to take a chance on you. There are plenty of ways for you to learn about the industry you seek through community college classes, online classes, or professional workshops. If you can prove you are knowledgeable and adaptable, potential employers will be impressed.
Take A Lower Position
If you want to make the switch to a new profession, you might have to take a few steps back in your career progression. Just because you are an expert in your current field, this does not mean you have as much value in other fields–not yet anyways! If you really have your heart set on a new industry and it will make you happier in the long run, it is worth it to take a lower position where you can learn a lot and prove you are willing to work hard.
Start A Side Project
If no one will take a chance on you, take a chance on yourself. By working freelance or starting a small business related to your industry or desired role, you will be able to build your portfolio and have some proof that you belong in your ideal industry.
We’ve said it before and we will say it again. Network, network, network. Hard work will get you where you need to go, but the sad truth of it is that sometimes, networking will get you there faster. People want to help people they know, trust, and like, so start building a professional network in your new industry. You’d be surprised how willing people are to help, especially if they feel personally connected to you.
Have you ever made the leap to a new industry? We’d love to hear how you did it!