Cathal – Be Prepared To Take One Step Back To Go Two Steps Forward
In the current market, I have noticed that a huge number of candidates are looking to break into a new industry. Unfortunately, many are not ready to take that step back in salary in order to take two steps forward in the long term. Jobseekers are cautious starting at entry level in a new industry but we must remember that it will take time for anyone to learn about any new industry. In many cases, employers are willing to ‘take a punt’ and take the time to train and mentor an individual who may not have the same level of industry experience as other applicants but will also expect that individual to ‘take a punt’ with their own career by lowering their salary expectations in order to secure the position. As long as you are ready to take a slight drop back in level, the benefits will be there in the long term. Focus on your future.
Breda – Work Out How You Can Add Value and Develop a Plan
Switching careers or industries starts with identifying the lack of experience between you and the opportunity you’re seeking. It’s important that you identify the relevant skills, experiences and qualities needed to break into the sought-after industry, and more importantly, how your previous experiences, education and background can add value in that industry.
Once you can begin to identify what it takes to break into that industry and how your current profile sets you up to do so, you can begin to connect the dots. In some instances, it’s merely selling your transferable skills and networking. In other situations it may involve seeking out completely new opportunities and experiences to get you where you want to be. You must have a goal and know where you are, where you want to go, and develop a road map on how you are going to get there.
Joanne – Be Open Minded and Flexible about a New Industry
The best advice I can give to candidates wishing to change careers or moving into a new industry sector is to be as open-minded and flexible as possible. It generally will not be possible to move into your new chosen career as the same level you are currently working at. Typically, you will need to take a step back in seniority and therefore expect a reduction in salary. It is important to remember that this step back is both temporary and necessary in order for you to progress in your new field.
Contracts are also an ideal door-opener into a new area as competition will be less and companies are more likely to be flexible given the smaller candidate pool to choose from.
In addition to the above, it is also important to highlight on your CV any transferable skills you may have and also to seek opportunities to expand your current role to gain experience relevant to the sector you wish to move into.
Gillian – Invest Time and Focus on Your Transferable Skills
The thoughts of moving from one industry to another can be a daunting experience, and many will rule out the possibility. However, this shouldn’t be the case, many people have more transferable skills than they give themselves credit for.
Transferable skills are skills developed in one sector (and in life situations) which can be transferred into another sector, most commonly referred to as soft skills or on job descriptions are listed under key skills/essential criteria. Examples could be team work, time management, communications skills, attention to detail etc.
If you done your research and have made that decision to try your hand in another industry, then then next step is to seriously invest time in your CV and those transferable skills. Listing all your achievements in one industry is not enough at this point, your CV must demonstrate a match between your skills and employers’ needs for a specific job, where you can use words and phrases common to job posting for your target industry/job. Take the time now, do it right and make the switch.
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