How to Transition Into a New Industry
Have you been doing the same work for awhile now? Are you looking to transition to a new industry but aren’t really sure where to start? Here is what you need to know about job searching in a new industry.

7 Steps to Transition into a New Industry Faster than You Thought Possible:

Step 1: Believe It Will Happen

Visualize yourself already in the dream career. What does it feel like? Do this morning and night. Create a vision journal and keep reminding yourself that you can and will make a move to your dream industry happen.

Step 2: Get Clear On Your Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are the talents a person gathers throughout their career and through other real life experiences which can be applied to a new job or a new career in a new industry. These talents might seem insignificant when a person is looking for new employment however, they’re often just what an employer is looking for in a new employee.
The interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills a person obtains while undertaking volunteer work, playing a team sport, or completing a university degree might not be listed within a particular job description, but they are the essential elements to employment in the current labor market.


Step 3: Surround Yourself with People in Your New Career Field

Go to every networking event in the new industry you’re interested in. Stop going to the events in your old or current industry you are trying to get out of. Listen to speakers and podcasts in the new field. Conduct informational interviews with everyone you can find that is in the new industry.
[Related: 15 Questions to Ask During an Informational Interview]

Step 4: Volunteer

There are so many ways to get experience so you can make the move into a new career field. When I was switching career fields, I found the time (even though I was already busy with a job and school) to do my very best at an internship in a field I was super excited about.
When you are excited about the work you are doing, you make the time. Mornings, evenings, weekends. Instead of thinking, there is no way I would have the time to volunteer. Think instead, how can I volunteer? How can I make it happen? How could this be possible to make the time to volunteer in a career field I am interested in?
Once you decide and commit, the opportunities will come. You might have to do a little networking or online searching but when you offer to volunteer at a company, often a big YES is what you will receive, trust me.
I just hired an apprentice at my company because she volunteered. I do not give up additional help from ambitious women who are so motivated by the mission of my company and what I do. So do the same, show the person in the new industry how excited and passionate you are to learn about what they do and HELP them as much as possible. You will quickly learn and pick up so many things just by volunteering.

Step 5: Read Every Book You Can About That Industry

A true expert needs to have both expertise (book learning) and experience (real-world practice). So if you don’t have a degree in the career field you want to transition to, no problem. Make your own degree program. Create a list of the most recommended books on your topic. Go on Amazon. Download them on your Kindle. Get them all sent to your house. Or order them all from the library.
Have a stack of books about your new topic. This WILL inspire you and excite you. It will feel like a degree. So now instead of watching the latest episode of the bachelorette, you can look at your stack of books and your dream career degree program and I think you will make the better choice of learning more about your dream career.

Step 6: Job Sculpt

This involves looking for ways in which you can leverage your interests in your current job. A good analogy here is if you think of a sculptor. They have a clump of clay and can add to it and take away from it. Think of your job description in the same way.
You can make small adjustments here and there to adjust your alignment of your interests and the tasks that need to get done. This works best when you can identify win-win situations, where there is benefit to you but also where you can add value to your company.
The goal for job sculpting is that your career interests are aligned with your team’s needs and what you need. So how does this work? Employees take the lead to navigate their own career and managers do their part to help and have really productive career conversations.
So we are going to roll up our sleeves and talk about how you can job sculpt. Think about the aspects of your work that you love, even if they are hard, and then the other parts that you aren’t as satisfied with that maybe you have outgrown. Think about what is on your plate, and where can you make small adjustments. This is not about applying to a new job or project, this is really about small adjustments in your current position.

Step 7: Review Your Finances & Pay Off Debt

Yes, the dreaded money topic! So what does debt have to do with your career? Everything. Without debt controlling your life, you can make life and career decisions that really make you happy. You have nothing hanging over your head nor do you have student loan, credit card, or car loan bills piling up to pay.
You have savings available for emergencies and you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck wondering if you will ever have the life and career you dreamed of. Not having to worry about debt allows your mind to open up so that you can really think about what makes you happy and what you really want to do with your life. That is exactly what happened to me when I decided to take a 50% pay cut.

Just Take Baby Steps.

Get closer. You might not land the job of your dreams in the industry of your dreams next week. But you may be able to land the “stepping stone” that will get you much, much closer. Slow and steady will win this race!

Which step are you going to take? Share in the comments below!

Hi, I'm Anna!

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