31 Aug 2023

How To Switch Industries In 6 Simple Steps

How To Switch Industries In 6 Simple Steps | Exacta Solutions

From identifying transferable skills to crafting your transition story, navigate the essentials of switching industries with confidence.

Whether it’s the allure of a higher salary, the promise of better job security, enticing perks like flexible hours, or simply a desire to align more closely with your passions and interests, many of us find ourselves yearning for a change in industries at some point in our careers.

However, switching industries is not an easy task, especially if you’ve already invested a significant amount of time in your current field. But rest assured, it’s not an insurmountable challenge. With effort, determination, and a strategic approach, a seamless career change can be achieved.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through six essential steps to successfully transition into the industry of your dreams.

1. Research your target industry

First and foremost, it’s crucial to research your target industry you’re interested in thoroughly. While a new industry might seem appealing from afar, a closer look might reveal realities you simply hadn’t anticipated. So, start by reading up on industry-specific news sites and trusted portals. Skim through recent job listings to get a better understanding of the primary roles, responsibilities, and expectations. You may also wish to consider reaching out to professionals already working in your dream industry. Their first-hand experiences and insights can be invaluable when deciding if this new industry truly aligns with your aspirations.

2. List your transferable skills

A journey into a new industry can take two main routes. You might simply be looking to apply your existing skills to a different subject. For instance, if you’re a copywriter in the hospitality world considering a position in iGaming, the core of what you do—i.e. writing and editing—will remain unchanged. On the other hand, you might be contemplating a more radical shift, like transitioning from a customer support role to a marketing job. In either scenario, it’s crucial to map out your transferable skills. By connecting the dots between your experience and the needs of a new industry, you will be able to better position yourself as a viable candidate. Also, you’ll uncover any potential skills or knowledge gaps that need bridging.

Cross-skilling to switch industries | Exacta Solutions3. Embrace cross-skilling and further education

Depending on how drastic a leap you’re looking to make, you may be able to achieve a lot of the foundational work on your own. Fortunately, in today’s digital age, there is a wealth of free online resources to help you refine your skills and equip you with knowledge specific to your desired industry. In some cases, you may require formal education or specific certifications to truly stand out. To get a clearer sense of what might be expected, turn to LinkedIn. A simple scan of profiles of professionals already working in your target industry can shed light on common qualifications and credentials that would be good for you to acquire.

4. Reach out to companies to gain experience

While books and courses provide valuable insights, nothing quite demonstrates your genuine interest and commitment to a new industry like gaining first-hand experience in the field. If you’re in a position to do so, consider reaching out to companies you admire. Share your story and passion to be a part of their world, and express your eagerness to learn. Many companies appreciate such proactive enthusiasm and may offer internships or even freelance opportunities. Engaging in such roles doesn’t just give you an authentic taste of the job, but they can also serve as a tangible showcase of your dedication and talent.

5. Build up your portfolio

In many industries, especially creative ones, your resume tells only half the story. A well-curated portfolio can often speak louder than words, showcasing not just your skills, but also your style, vision, and evolution as a professional. If you’re venturing into realms like design, videography, or writing, building a portfolio is essential. If your current collection is not aligned with the industry you’re transitioning to, dedicate some free time to create new samples.

Furthermore, if you’re shifting to an industry where portfolios aren’t the norm, think outside the box. A ‘portfolio’ could be a detailed case study or a fleshed-out plan for a hypothetical project. Remember, it’s all about presenting tangible evidence of your abilities and dedication.

6. Craft your story

A question that’s bound to come up in interviews is “Why do you want to switch industries?” So, before you step into those conversations, take a moment to reflect on your motivations and craft a compelling narrative about your journey and decision. Speak about the reasons that motivated your desire to move out of your current field, the research and training that guided your decision, and the elements of the new industry that resonate with you. Remember, hiring managers aren’t just looking for skills. They’re seeking individuals who are passionately invested in their industry.

For more tips and guides to securing your dream job, be sure to check out our extensive guides and articles in our Candidates Resources.