April 26, 2021 4 min read

It’s time for a change of pace and switching industries is the career shift that makes the most sense for you. Even though you’re eager and feel confident it’s the right move, it can also feel a bit like starting over which could stop you in your tracks before you even really begin. You may be asking yourself if your experience holds up and whether you can learn an entire industry quickly enough to make an impact. Our answer is a definitive yes and we’ve outlined some considerations to help you embrace this exciting career change.

Explore your options with market research

Young woman sitting at desk and writing in notebook.

When in doubt, Google it. There’s no such thing as secrets of the trade anymore thanks to the world wide web. With some online detective work, you’ll be able to home in on industries you’ve always been curious about. What’s the landscape look like in that particular industry? Is it competitive? Do you have transferable skills? The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to determine how well you, your skills and your experience could fit.

Leave no stone unturned during this phase especially if you’re unsure what exactly interests you. You could surprise yourself and find something that truly captivates you.

Here are a few methods that can shed some light on your industry research:

  • Category:Are you into tech or the art world? Do you have a preference between B2C or B2B? This may seem like a basic question to ask but starting a list from this angle will give you a clearer picture of where your interest truly lies.
  • Company: build out your list a little further by digging into which companies are involved. You’d be surprised to learn the story behind a dream company you’ve always admired. Visit their site and get a sense of their company culture.
  • Campaigns: find a few of their recent campaigns or projects to assess their work. At the same time, see if their work excites you and lights a motivational fire so to speak.

Being honest is also key to narrowing down your list. Assess whether your interest gauges from “passing by on your way to lunch” or “full stop/cancel your meetings for the rest of the day”.

If you don’t have either of those reactions, that’s reasonable too. Maybe you’re interested in the skills and experience you’ll gain in a new environment. As long as you have a vested interest then whichever industry shift you choose is worth pursuing.

Reaching out for answers within your network

Now that you’ve narrowed down a few industries that are of interest to you, a more in-depth approach is required. This is where your market research becomes more proactive and personal. You might have already guessed the next step from a mile away. That’s right: networking is the name of the game. Connecting with professionals who work in each industry is much like being invited to the behind scenes production of a great play. You’ll see how creativity and magic get spun to perfection.

Reaching out to your network and building those connections may take time, but the effort is worth it. Whether you’re a networking pro or a newbie, we have helpful resources just for you like “Learning Key Techniques to Online Networking & Staying Connected In A Socially Distanced World” or “How Your LinkedIn Profile Is Your Networking Playground: The Power of Social Reciprocity, Online Etiquette And So Much More”.

Last but not least, make sure to check out our Roles In Marketing video series where we’ve made the connections for you so you can hit play and enjoy! We’ve gathered marketers across industries who share their career stories and what their role entails. The best part? It’s all available now for you to explore!

Making Your Case on Why You’re Shifting

After all this legwork is done and resumes have been sent, it’s time to prepare for the interview stage and most importantly, be able to express your why. Why the switch? Why the change? It’s the top question everyone will have on their minds as they meet you. Your resume and cover letter have done a fantastic job of showcasing your abilities and impressive experience, but it doesn’t give the whole answer.

Seems like a big ask but remember, many professionals at some point shift and pivot within their careers. It’s becoming more common and less taboo. A recent survey conducted on behalf of Indeed Canada shows that 38% of professionals have completed a career change.What’s more surprising is that another 35% were considering switching careers. These results show there’s movement in the professional world which means you’re not alone and it can be done.

Crafting your answer includes an equal measure of authenticity and tactfulness. What do we mean by that? Here are a few angles to get you started on putting together your why:

  • Align your professional values. Connecting a new industry’s values to your own is a great place to start a discussion on why you’d be a great fit. Use a personal story or mention a campaign you admire to get the ball rolling.
  • Talk up your transferable skills. These are essential to demonstrate your strengths and how well you could transition. Be specific and use examples to talk them through your shining moments.
  • Moving forward with career goals. Admitting that you’re looking for a challenge shows that you’re ambitious and ready for more — a sign of someone looking at the big picture. Who wouldn’t want that person on their team?

Last but certainly not least, be respectful of your current or past jobs and highlight what you’ve learnt and enjoyed. It’s not only a sign of courtesy but also reinforces your A+ professionalism.

Keep an Open Mind & Continue Learning

Deciding on shifting industries is akin to a pitstop on a road trip – you need a minute to refresh and get your bearings before hitting the road. Regardless of the challenges you may face, understanding the end goal and being patient with the process will lead to the job change you’ve been searching for.

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