Finding a job in a new industry can certainly be a daunting prospect. However, you will find that there are a number of qualities which can give you an advantage when starting out. These transferable skills are highly sought after and will ensure you maximize your prospects of being employed in a new industry.
We spoke to a team of managers from bonprix to get their top tips when searching for work in a new industry.
1. Research the Industry
When looking for work in a new industry, researching your chosen field is a priority. Changing industries does not always mean an entirely new career, so try looking for positions similar to your past experience first.
Keep up to date with news from the industry you’re looking to work in and learn about its culture. This will help you weigh up the pros and cons of the industry and identify any challenges or opportunities which could occur in the future.
“Having a basic working knowledge of my field before my career began was an advantage.” Rosie, Offline Campaign Manager
2. Make Yourself Stand Out
Making an immediate impression is integral to any successful job application. When applying for a role in a new industry, you may feel that your CV will be lacking relevant experience. In reality, you have the opportunity to highlight your skills and show you’re serious about bringing a new perspective to that industry.
These skills can be picked up from almost any background, from university courses to long-term hobbies. What you do outside of work can even provide the spark of individuality that will help set you apart from the competition. Employers love being able to see what people are passionate about in their spare time, as they’ll look for you to bring that same level of commitment and enthusiasm to their workplace.
“I completed a placement year as part of my university degree and I can’t stress enough how important this year’s work experience was. It allowed me to put into practice some of my learnings but most importantly prepared me for the real world when I completed my degree.” Lydia, Project Manager
“I did go to university and it was invaluable to me in terms of transferable skills.” Suzanna, Offline Campaign Manager
3. Adapt to Change
If you want to find work and excel in a new industry you must be willing, and able, to change to meet the demands of the job. The ability to adapt is one of the most useful transferable skills you can obtain and is something all employers look for. This ranges from your individual work skills, such as writing style and methods of research, to how you manage working with others.
The workplace is a constantly changing environment. If you can step outside of your comfort zone and push yourself into new situations, then you are sure to excel. All of it requires a degree of flexibility.
“We have to work with new people all the time and adapt to changes in the workplace. Not being able to adapt to change can really hold you back in your career!” Lydia, Project Manager
4. Be Willing to Learn
When you enter a new industry, you may be starting from scratch in terms of practical, firsthand experience. But this doesn’t mean that you are at a disadvantage. As long as you demonstrate an eagerness to learn, an employer can work with this and help you develop the more specific skills they require.
This willingness to learn can also extend to professional training courses. By indicating that you are open to expanding your knowledge, you make yourself more valuable to a potential employer. You can also show you would be willing to spend extra time learning how to complete tasks when you are still new to your role.
“As with any new job, I felt pretty useless for a while. My knowledge needed to grow, fast. Even after a year I still feel like there is so much more for me to learn. I made sure that I spent extra time on tasks in the beginning to learn them well, and I was lucky enough to have a manager who was a very knowledgeable and good teacher.” Rosie, Offline Campaign Manager
5. Adopt the Right Attitude
In every industry and in every job there are certain aspects that you won’t like. Regardless of your feelings, you have to be able to complete tasks assigned to you. You have to be able to show dedication to your job and for the company that you work for.
If you can show that you care about your work then this will shine through in the quality of what you produce. Keeping a positive attitude will also reflect well on you and ensure that you fit in with a team of colleagues. This is an important facet of starting in a new industry as personality is an influential factor in gaining a job in the first place.
“Every job has admin tasks that are less exciting than the others but these tasks must be done! The most exciting tasks for me are those that are not so day to day, such as the ideas sessions, photo shoots, events, trips to the head office and learning of upcoming plans.” Rosie, Offline Campaign Manager
“Personality is the most important trait but I would also look for experience, confidence and attitude.” Jenna, Finance Department
The bottom line is that you should not be afraid to pursue a career in a new industry as long as you ensure you have the necessary transferable skills. As you can see, there is a lot which you can do to make yourself attractive to any potential employer!
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