Is it Time to Consider a New Profession or Industry?

thoughtful-manHave you ever thought about working in an entirely new industry or profession? When you have leadership experience and qualities, you have acquired valuable transferrable skills that could often open doors to an entirely new career. Or, if you have been pursuing a career in your current profession but have not been successful. Before you change your industry or profession job target, determine if it’s the job target or you? Have you dedicated enough effort to identify opportunities in your current profession that could offer you career advancement?

Have you:

  • Sent out resumes or CVs daily to your targeted companies?
  • Worked your professional network for leads?
  • Conducted informational interviews?
  • Revised or upgraded your resume or CV?
  • Dedicated at least ten hours per week to your job search if you’re working?
  • Dedicated at least thirty hours per week to your job search if unemployed?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions, you should determine if you are the issue rather than your job target. If the answer is “yes” give your current target more focus and dedicated actions before you switch targets. You can often earn more when you stay in the same industry or profession.

The workforce and workplace have undergone dramatic changes in the past few years and will continue to introduce industries and job opportunities that didn’t exist three years ago. There is concern that AI (Artificial Intelligence) may eliminate many opportunities, but in fact AI is creating new and exciting career opportunities.

Before you identify a new target, complete the following eight action items.

  1. Write five stories about accomplishments you’ve achieved – when you were the happiest.
  2. Research the possibility of turning your special interests into a job.
  3. Educate yourself on the credentials most desired.
  4. Interview ten people who now work in your targeted industry or profession.
  5. Be realistic – you may have to take a cut in wages.
  6. Watch trends, set up Google Alerts, identify growth industries.
  7. Fine-tune your interviewing techniques.
  8. Find a mentor who can help you succeed in a new industry or profession.

Informational interviews will help tremendously when you are attempting to achieve a career change.  You want your search process to be organized and methodical.  When considering a new job target, investigate as many job targets as possible.  You will not necessarily conduct a thorough campaign for all of them, but these will serve as backups targets in case your top target does not work out.

When you compile your list of targets, determine the following:

  • Industry
  • Company Size
  • Position | Title
  • Geographics

By identifying these four areas, you can clearly list the targets that meet your criteria.  Consider the company culture, reputation, and environment.  There are endless resources online and there are also great directories including Standard and Poor’s Register of Corporations which lists over 50,000 corporations, and The Million Dollar Directory (Dun and Bradstreet, Inc.) a listing of over 120,000 US businesses with a net worth of more than half a million dollars and endless online resources.

Understand that for every 150 positions you target, you will schedule approximately 7 interviews which should result in 1 offer. You can see the amount of work you will have to put into your search. If you are like most job seekers, your job search may be in neutral. You’re just hoping something will happen to get your search moving in the right direction.

When you select a new target, research the following on the industry or position you are targeting:

  • Trends and future prospects in a specific industry.
  • Areas of growth or decline in that industry.
  • The challenges the industry faces that could utilize your skills.
  • The culture of the industry.
  • The top, medium, and lower ranked companies in the industry.

This will help you determine whether you are in sync with a particular industry and whether or not there this is a viable target.

You should also conduct research in The Encyclopedia of Associations. This encyclopedia lists over 22,000 associations that represent trade and industry groups. In Chicago, there is even an Association for Associations.

This is an incredible way to research your targets and this book also provides names of contacts, the number of members, and a membership list with contact information.  These people are dedicated to their profession and normally are more than willing to provide you with advice and possibly even contacts.

These association leaders are also aware of publications read by their membership. These publications are filled with endless leads of job opportunities. Don’t only read the ads in the back of the publications, read the articles and you will uncover leads and hiring triggers. You will get your resume or CV in the hands of people who are not inundated with resumes or CVs because they ran an ad, and this will normally increase your chances of booking an interview with these job targets.

Finally, I want you to think of the jobs and professions that no longer exist or have been replaced by online resources or have lost their relevancy. What happened to all the people who worked at the Blockbuster stores? Travel Agencies?

On the other hand, think of all the new jobs that have been created in the last two years.  So many individuals have chosen to work non-traditional jobs like Uber Driver or have gone to work for Door Dash or Instacart. Less than 50% of the current workforce in the US is working a traditional 40 hour work week, for the first time in history. So many individuals have chosen to become an independent contractor, self-employed, working more than one position or going to work for organizations like Fiverr or Upwork.

New industries, professions and career opportunities continue to escalate in this ever changing workplace which has also opened a global job search for individuals who want to work virtually. Don’t limit yourself to what you know but rather think of the endless opportunities that maybe didn’t even exist last year. This approach can open doors to you that you currently probably don’t even know exist.

Implement these ideas and you will successfully identify new job targets that provide you with the best chance of success.

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno, author of HIGH-TECH HIGH-TOUCH RECRUITING: How To Attract And Retain The Best Talent By Improving The Candidate Experience, is an internationally recognized recruiting expert who has a proven track record of helping recruiters and talent acquisition professionals become more successful and less stressed. She has created several popular LinkedIn Learning courses and is president of Good As Gold Training, HR Search, Inc., and Happy Candidates.

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