8 ways to start a career in a new industry

Things have changed significantly over the past decade, and there are more opportunities for digital marketing and other industries. These advances are creating jobs that did not exist ten years ago. Technological advancements can inspire you to make a career change that is more in line with your passions and interests.


Making a career change in a new industry can be scary, but it’s manageable if you plan the move. You can take steps to help you transition into a new industry with ease, which can seem like a stressful undertaking.


1. Make a list of your interests and talents

If you’re unsure of the direction you should take in your career, the best place to start is with your passions, hobbies, and skills. Think of anything you love to do, even if you can’t think of a related career.

Once you’ve listed all of your interests and talents, write down any patterns or themes you identify to help you identify a career match. Identifying interests and hobbies can help you discover where your passions lie and what careers might be the perfect fit.

2. Identify skills sought by employers in the new industry

Once you’ve identified the industry you want to work in, you can start looking at job listings for your ideal job and take note of the skills employers are looking for. You can also search for professionals in the position you’re looking for and list the patterns, skills, and keywords you identify. Doing this research can help you discover which traits employers reward and which traits can cause your career to stagnate.

Researching industry professionals can help you set expectations for the pace of career advancement. You may consider scheduling informal informational interviews with professionals in the industry in which you wish to work. You can ask what are the characteristics of top performers in the industry to help you focus.

Another way to do your research is to read the LinkedIn profiles and biographies of top industry executives. You can work back to chart the path they followed and use that as a structure for your journey.

3. Review your skills and focus on your transferable skills

Create a list of skills you have developed throughout your career. Even if you are considering a career change, you have abilities that may be relevant to the types of jobs you want in the new industry. Certain skills may be more valuable in the new sector, as it is not common for people in the industry to have them.

You can apply for jobs that match your current skills or you can learn new ones to succeed in your new position. Consider your weaknesses and strengths when assessing your abilities and take steps to improve the skills you identify as weaknesses.

4. Contact your network

Once you’re ready to apply for jobs in a new industry, let your network know that you’re actively looking for job opportunities. Some reports claim that employers fill the majority of their positions via referrals.

Friends, family, and former co-workers may work in the industry you want to be in, so it’s worth inviting them over for dinner or coffee to ask for their advice. Remember to keep an open mind and write down the key questions you have, so you don’t forget to ask them in the meeting.

Attending industry networking events that you want to pursue is a great way to gain exposure and industry knowledge. You can learn aspects of the new industry that you may not be aware of, which can give you the opportunity to excel.

Being a new entrant to an industry can mean your first job won’t be your last. As you gain knowledge about the industry, you will be able to identify a company that you want to work with because of their mission.

Networking keeps your options open if you need to make a quick change due to a business shutdown or a toxic work environment. If you want to expand your network, you might be interested in learning how to network professionally on LinkedIn.

5. Surround yourself with people in your industry

You can connect with people in the industry you want to work in by attending classes, conferences, and social events hosted by people in the industry. Even if you don’t work in the industry yet, you want to make yourself visible at industry events so you’ll be on top when an opportunity arises.

Volunteering or becoming an intern are other options you can take to get a taste of a new career and a new industry. Although most internships and volunteer positions do not pay a salary, you can benefit from the valuable work experience you will gain that can help you in your future projects.

Volunteering or internship allows you to follow professionals and ask them questions about their profession. Learning more about their experiences can help you make informed decisions about your career.

6. Pursue certifications to develop your skills

After deciding which industry you want to move into, you need to check the standard requirements for the job you want to apply for. Some jobs require specific certifications or degrees. If you discover that the position you are looking for requires a particular qualification, pursue the ones you see in most job postings if you don’t already have them.

It can help you get noticed faster if you go beyond the minimum requirements and pursue an entry-level certification to help you improve your skills in your new career. If you’re not sure which certifications to pursue, you might want to learn more about the best certifications for career advancement.

7. Clearly state your intention to switch industries

When you’ve identified the skills and experience you need for a job in a new industry, you need to tailor your resume and cover letter to the position you want. You can always include your work history, even though it may not be relevant to the job you are applying for. Look for ways to connect your previous job responsibilities to the new position.

Review the job description and emphasize your ability to get the job done by relating to similar tasks you were previously responsible for. You can use your cover letter to explain why you are making the change in the industry.

In your cover letter, you can mention things about the company, position, and industry that you are passionate about. In your CV, mention your most important achievements, even if they are not related to the job for which you are applying. If you’re struggling with your resume summary, you might be interested in tips for writing a winning resume summary (with examples).

8. Reduce your debts and prepare yourself financially

You may need a monetary cushion while you change careers or industries. When changing careers, you should be prepared to take a pay cut, as you will likely start at an entry-level position. The change may require you to return to full-time or part-time studies for a year or more.

Finding your ideal job may require you to make sacrifices, including reducing work hours, selling your car, downsizing your home, moving in with your family, or making other significant lifestyle changes. Make a financial plan to help you prepare if you don’t find a job right away.

Review your future savings and expenses to help you determine if you can survive a few months without a job, whether it’s better to keep your current job while you look for a new one, or go back to school part-time. If you don’t have a way to calculate your budget yet, you might want to learn how to create a monthly expense tracker in Google Sheets.

Making a change is rarely easy, but we do it because we are tired of things the way they are. While many of us are resistant to change, we have all had experiences where the change we resisted ended up working to our advantage.

When making decisions about our livelihoods, we need to do as much research as possible. Whether you are alone or have a family, changing careers is an important event that should not be done on a whim. Do your homework, talk to people in the industry, and keep a positive mindset, and you’ll find your perfect job.

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