Switching Tracks: How To Infiltrate A New Industry
Maybe you’re happy in your career. But…maybe you could be happier.
Many people, at different points in their lives, get the itch to switch career tracks. The idea, while exciting, can also seem overwhelming, especially if you’ve invested years into getting where you are.
But, if you’ve made up your mind to go even further, even if it means in a different direction, then we have the tips and tricks you need to make the change!
Tip 1: Start With Who You Know
While some of your skill sets may not be transferable, your network always is! Explore your options and shop around the idea of moving into a new industry to the people you know. Talk to people who work in that industry, or have relatable experience.
It will be easier to move into a new position if you can get a referral. While they may not be able to speak to your direct experience, they can highlight your character and diligence, and any aptitude you have for professional development.
You may even find some of your contacts have made the same or a similar move and can offer guidance about your specific situation. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to be your mentor; many people love to share their wisdom as much as you’ll benefit from hearing it!
Who do you know that would make a great mentor for your chosen industry?
Tip 2: Hone Your Skills
Take stock of what skills and talents are already in your toolkit that you can use in your new industry.
Some of these may not be as regularly exercised as others, simply due to the nature of your current work. But before you get to acquiring all the new skills you’ll need, be sure to brush up on the ones you already have under your belt. This could mean refamiliarizing yourself with a key program, or brushing up on a certain subject.
The next step is to fill in the gaps of the new skills required for the new job. Start by learning what people in that industry rely on most, and study, practice, and review the things that make them successful. Even just what they need to succeed in their day-to-day.
Going from working by yourself to giving presentations to large groups? Rehearse your public speaking. Leaving desk work to join the army? Time to start practicing those push-ups.
What skills can you start building now for tomorrow’s career?
Tip 3: Get Out There!
Physically! Start going to industry events and meetups for like-minded people. Those in-person connections will help you grow and learn as you become more familiar with the industry landscape.
Some connections could even turn out to be a referral, a coworker, or your next employer! Networking is as much about using your network as it is about building it. You’ll be expanding your horizons, as well as your understanding of what it means to be a part of this new world you’ve chosen for yourself.
What’s the next big event for your industry?
Tip 4: Get The Credentials You Need
While skills can be developed on your own, there may be licenses, certifications, degrees, diplomas, ratings, permissions, clearances, titles, or any other type of externally-accredited credential that is standard for your new job.
This means you need to serve your time and do the groundwork necessary before you walk into your new life. Fortunately, if you’ve picked something that you’re passionate about, this will simply be an exciting challenge to get you on the way to your dream job!
Research the time and financial commitments, and speak to people in the industry about the requirements you’ve heard of and their actual relevancy. Compare different options for the same credentials, such as part-time school versus full-time; online or in-person. There are many options out there, and you want to make sure you get the education you need, not just the final certificate.
What are the expected credentials for someone in your dream job?
Tip 5: Fake It Till You Make It
Don’t actually fake it, per se. What we mean is: start becoming that new you today! Learn about who you’ll need to be in your new chosen profession by putting it into practice.
Wake up every day thinking to yourself: “I am doing this!” instead of “I will do this.”
Becoming a new you isn’t going to happen overnight. Stay motivated. Remind yourself frequently why you’re making the change. Try to keep the big picture in focus.
And most of all, keep being as much of the person you want to be as you can. If you do, then one day you’ll be all that and so much more!
So, are you ready to be the new you?