How to Switch Industries: 7 Tips for Getting Started in a New Industry

How to Reposition Yourself in a New Industry

What’s the best way to reposition yourself when you are trying to switch industries?

From diving in headfirst to connecting the dots between industries, there are several tips that may help you reposition yourself when switching industries.

Here are seven ways you can get your foot in the door of a new industry: 

  • Dive In Head First
  • Meet Industry Professionals For Coffee
  • Learn About The Space You’re In
  • Look For Mentors
  • Be Open To Opportunities
  • Transfer Your Core Skills
  • Use Your Previous Experience 

Dive In Head First

Dive in headfirst! The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when switching industries is not fully investing their time and energy into the new market. You can’t really get your new company off of the ground unless you give it your complete attention. By only working on it after 5 o’clock, you are limiting the potential growth of you and your new business!

Elliot Greenberg, Wholesale Janitorial Supply 

Meet Industry Professionals For Coffee

Entering a new industry is both the most exciting and nerve-wracking experience any business professional can face. I think the best way to make this transition is to take advantage of the confidence you have built within yourself in your current industry, but be completely open to all opportunities to learn and grow in the new one. That means meeting industry professionals for coffee, attending networking events, or even purchasing masterclasses. The key is to be confident in your ability but always be willing to learn something new!

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

Learn About The Space You’re In

Before you do anything, learn about the space you’re in. Familiarize yourself with how the industry works, talk with people you know in that area, and understand what current leaders are already doing. With every new industry comes different requirements, customers, value props, and even language. Don’t try to be an industry disruptor before you even know what you’re disrupting. 

Zack McCarty, Qwick

Look For Mentors

When entering a new industry, I think it is incredibly helpful to have a mentor. Whether you are simply shadowing them or they are coaching you as you build your business, their insights can truly make a huge difference. From their years of experience, they will be able to help you navigate the lay of the land and avoid common pitfalls new players may fall into. 

Court Will, Will & Will

Be Open To Opportunities

When I switched industries, it wasn’t anything I was “searching” for. I quit my job at Procter & Gamble to pursue my MBA and picked up a retail sales position at a sporting goods store to fill time before my MBA program started. 

I was eventually hired to head up a new catalog division of licensed sporting goods and continued to grow and move up in the company. My advice to someone looking to switch industries is to be open to opportunities. I never pictured myself in retail, though it turned out to be a dream position and something I thrived in when the opportunity presented itself. Be willing to try new things, and making big industry changes will come. 

Craig Rosen, InterviewFocus

Transfer Your Core Skills

According to a 2015 LinkedIn survey of more than 10,000 members who took on a new role, 34% changed industries. When switching industries, the best way to position yourself is to highlight your core skills and their transferability. Make sure you have stories and examples of how you exemplified the core skills so recruiters feel confident in your leap from one industry to another. 

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie 

Use Your Previous Experience 

Drawing from my own experience, I started in the banking and real estate sales industries before expanding into homebuilding 35 years ago. This broad base of related-industry knowledge served us well as we started our home building business. My best piece of advice when switching industries is to use your previous experience and knowledge to push through the challenges you might face in a new industry.

Rod Cullum, Cullum Homes

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