Want to Shift Careers? Here’s How to Land a Job in a Different Industry
(SPOT.ph) During his spare time, Eli surfs LinkedIn and JobStreet for job openings as a freelancer or in corporate work so he can finally leave his post as a librarian in a government hospital. Work is toxic and it seems impossible to climb the career ladder in his current job, he said.
Workers explore vacancies outside their current jobs, or even in a different industry, when they feel stuck at work or need a salary raise like Eli. For this major career leap, Eli said he is equipping himself by developing soft skills and enrolling in relevant online courses.
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“Dumadating sa point na it gets toxic and at the same time stagnant ‘yung progress sa career ladder… I’m also paying my bills and binabayaran ko rin bills ng family ko so money is a very big factor,” Eli, who refuses to give his full name, tells SPOT.ph.
Hopping to a different industry can be rewarding not only for those who want to make a career out of their passion in life, but also for those who seek better opportunities. It also has its risks so you must be prepared before taking the plunge, according to the job search site JobStreet Philippines.
How to Shift Careers to a Different Industry
Shifting careers can be life-changing so before you commit to it, remember to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, said Kim Martin Viray, country head for marketing of JobStreet Philippines.
Advantages of Career Shifting
One of the upsides of moving to a different career is you can finally pursue your passion and you’ll likely enjoy what you are doing which makes work more fulfilling, he said.
Coffee-lover Jayson, a government employee who specializes in environmental science, wants to pursue a full-time career in coffee-making. Doesn’t matter if he needs to study how different coffee shops operate and ask owners about their experiences as long as he keeps learning the ropes.
“I’m learning from square one… I really wanted to have a physical café or coffee shop that also serves as a community hub and library. I currently operate my café as a street vendor with my bicycle intermittently as I have my day job since January 2021,” Jayson tells SPOT.ph.
Career shifting will also push you out of your comfort zone, which can be beneficial to your career growth, JobStreet’s Viray said.
“Candidates or job seekers who are planning to move to a different career path have the chance to gain new knowledge and set skills that will be beneficial for them in the long run,” he tells SPOT.ph.
Disadvantages of Career Shifting
The downsides of entering a different industry? Regardless of your age, you must be ready to start from the bottom again.
While waiting for his dream career to take flight, Jayson also wants to explore opportunities in the Information and Communications Technology industry—even if it means going back to an entry-level salary. At least here, work hours are more flexible which means he gets to spend more time with his son.
Another challenge is that it could also take time for you to fully adapt to a new job and new industry. You may even feel insecure in a new environment where you have to prove yourself to your coworkers and managers, said Viray.
“It’s really more on you being ready to take on a lot of adjustments because it’s going to be a new career, new environment, new people to work with. For some, it might actually take a toll on their mental health so you just have to be ready.”
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How to Land a Job in a Different Industry
An industry shift can be scary, but it isn’t impossible as long as you are prepared, said Viray.
It starts with one thing: Impress your future employer. Preparation starts days, or even weeks ahead of your first interview so take note of these tips so you can land a job in a new industry.
Tailor-fit your resume
An employer spends an average of six to seven seconds looking at a resume before it ends up either on the “for interview” or “rejected” pile, so you have to be smart about how you write your resume. This means no generic resumes. You should avoid listing down roles and responsibilities from your previous work that aren’t relevant to the industry you’re eyeing to join, said Viray.
Employers usually check the work history or relevance of your previous work experience to the position you’re applying for, said Viray. What do you do if your previous and current job experience don’t match the job you’re gunning for? Highlight what you have, not what you lack, said Viray.
“Maybe there are other skills you can highlight in your resume that might be relevant to the new position or industry you are applying for.”
Turn the spotlight onto your transferable skills that can enable you to adapt to the new role, said Viray. This includes some of the top soft skills employers look for in applicants: communication skills, creativity, negotiation skills, and problem-solving skills.
“No matter what industry you’re applying for, if you have these soft skills, normally these will be a bonus or plus points for the employers looking for job seekers.”
Don’t forget to highlight relevant training you may have that can help ease you into your new role.
Eli and Jayson said they take time to enroll to free online courses relevant to the industries they’re gunning for to make up for the lack of experience. By doing so, Eli believes he could attract more potential employers.
“Right now, napakarami nang online course available that could help enhance your skills and gain more knowledge about a certain industry so look for any of those online courses that would be beneficial to the new industry or role you’re applying for,” says Viray.
Be ready to respond with purpose
How would you answer the interview question “Why are you switching careers?” The best course of action is to be truthful to the hiring manager, said Viray.
The pandemic changed how employees see their work and employers know that so don’t be afraid to explain. Hiring managers can tell if you answer truthfully, said Viray.
“Normally [employees] would really jump ship from one industry to another because they really want to pursue their passion. Hiring managers will really understand and they will really appreciate it if you will be honest with them.”
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