This article is about making a career pivot, the most challenging career change.
Clearly, the easiest job to get is one that is similar to the one you currently do. But most people are looking for something different.
Do you want to change your job or change your career? It's much easier to get a job like the one you currently do.
One option is to same with the same company and move to something else. This could be a sideways transfer or a promotion. Perhaps a move from finance to marketing or HR to client relations.
Another option is to move to a similar job with a new company. This can be a good option as an interim step. You move to a new company in a similar role, build contacts, and your reputation and then move into what you want to do. Or perhaps to do marketing for a charity instead of within a university setting?
The most challenging is to move, in one jump, to a new industry and new job; to do something different in a new organisation.
It can be done, but it will take time. You often can't make the move in one step. You may need to take an interim step, or two, and gain additional, relevant qualifications.
Look at the essential criteria and see how closely you match up. Perhaps not an exact match, but you have some relevant background, and you are quick to learn.
Think too of what extra you can bring that a conventional candidate doesn’t have. That could be more valuable to the company, alongside your different outlook, a fresh perspective.
The person who interviews you is concerned they are making the right choice, so make it easy for them, show how you add value and the extra zest you bring.
It's not always about making big changes, it's taking baby steps. Most people take time to develop towards a new career. They develop expertise on the side, and sometimes can start generating a side income.
To move into a new industry
- Be clear on what you want to do, it makes it much easier for people to help you.
- Have a realistic goal so you don’t set yourself up for disappointment and failure. Research will help ensure you have a stretch, but achievable goal.
- Learn as much as you can about the new industry, do as much research as you can online and then seek out fact-finding interviews.
- Join professional bodies, or at least visit their website. They often have reports or surveys so contact them to see what is available and read trade publications.
- Volunteer at conference’s. As a volunteer at a conference you will make useful contacts and get to listen to some of the talks.
- Make it clear how your skills transfer. It’s not just about hard, technical skills. Your softer skills such as communication, leadership and team work are just as important and easily transferred across industries.
- Arrange fact finding interviews, but make sure you have done as much online research as you can first.
- Build relationships and focus on building relationships with new people.
- Use your contacts to find people to talk with, and use LinkedIn to find more people who can provide useful information. There are many people only too happy to talk with you.
- Be willing to be an apprentice, don’t see it as working for free but as getting free training and development.
- Volunteering could be the right option for you. Be clear on what you can offer and what you want to gain from the experience. If you are an accountant and want to move into training, start doing some maths tutoring after work and/or give talks to societies and business clubs.
- A mentor can help – who do you know who does the job you want, could you ask if they will support you in your quest?
- Job shadow. This is a great way to experience ‘a day in the life of …’ not only do you find out more about their job but you meet other people too.
- Have some resilience, it will be challenging, you will get knockbacks, but keep going and you will achieve your goal.
Which is your favorite option, make a note below.