Finding a job in an industry you have no previous experience of is one of the hardest career challenges there is. Employers can demand that job candidates have prior experience in their industry because the market allows them to. You’ve got to be really up for the challenge if you’re going to succeed. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible.
Here are 5 ways to make the path to success a little easier.
1. Examine Your Motives:
Examine your motives and look harder at the purpose behind what it is you’re trying to do. People’s reasons for changing to a new industry are often related to the purpose of that industry. For example, many people are now interested in working in the “green” industries and it’s often the purpose behind those industries that lead people to them.
2. Be Clear on What the Appeal Is:
For you to be committed to breaking into a different industry, it must really appeal to you. Do your research to understand well what it is that this industry gives you that the others don’t.
3. Look for Shared Values:
Check out what values you share with your industry of choice. Different industries have different value-sets. For example, in certain industries the issue of safety is paramount. For engineers to be able to work in the environments they do, they must accept that the most important thing is not to endanger human life.
4. Understand What it is You Offer:
You need to be clear on the experience, drive and ambition that you have. At this stage you have no experience; you have no track record. What is it about you that’s going to make you more appealing than the other candidates?
5. Use Relevant Contacts:
How can you use the people in this industry who you know? Use them to find out what the industry is like and also to arrange introductions to the right person. What you seek is honest, objective answers to your questions. You don’t want to go and enter an industry you have no experience of until you’ve done this sort of homework. At worst you will find out what you need to do to be more viable as a job candidate in this industry.