How do I learn for a change of industry

Tips for Managers: How to Make a Successful Industry Change

Almost a fifth of all positions (18.4%) advertised on Experteer for the German market in recent months were in the field of mechanical and plant engineering - closely followed by information technology (16.6%). However, before you hand in your resignation and try your luck in the engineering industry, you should read the following article carefully. Because in this way you can optimally prepare for a change of industry.

Are you ready to switch industries?

Common reasons for a change of industry

No matter what your motivation for the move, whether you are spurred on by industry growth, attractive salaries or a good industry image - the good news is that a move is definitely possible. After years of gaining expertise in a specific field, as a senior manager you now have valuable skills that can possibly be transferred from one industry to another.

The popularity comes in waves for many industries - depending on which industries are growing. “I see that a lot of people want to get into tech these days. In previous years it was the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, and before that the financial sector, ”says Jobcerch's founder, Al Polland.

Nevertheless, Pollard recommends taking a closer look at the values ​​and work culture of a company than just the industry. Instead of focusing on an industry boom, find a company that really suits you. “The industry is not everything. A lot of people tend to forget that. There are great career opportunities even in less attractive industries. "

Industry change made easy

So how do you change industries without having to climb down one step on the career ladder at the same time? Pollard suggests orienting oneself on role models who have already mastered a change of industry. “The greater the differences between your current industry and your dream industry, the more important a good network is. The real challenge lies in wanting to change not only the industry, but also the job function. But someone who has worked as Head of Sales in a pharmaceutical company and now wants to move to IT as Head of Sales is in a good position. "

It looks completely different if this Head of Sales would like to switch to IT management - building this bridge is a feat. “I like analogies,” says Pollard. “Imagine jumping from one side of a ditch to the other. The trench is not very wide, you can do it on your own. But when the trench turns into a ravine, it becomes difficult. ”Help is then needed.

Your education, your knowledge, your skills - all of these will help you here, but it is your business contacts that are most useful when changing industries. “A person's network is their key to changing industries. Most people make the mistake of thinking that their friends are their ace up their sleeve. However, studies have found that loose acquaintanceships help you better with your transition. When looking for a job it is therefore more advantageous to know a lot of people a little rather than a few people very well. "

Challenges when changing industries

One of the biggest challenges for managers looking to switch industries is getting noticed. In this case, says Pollard, your chances of applying online are like playing the lottery. “I'm not saying that it can't work this way too. But your real and virtual network optimizes your chances many times over. " Pollard's suggestion: Brush up on your industry jargon for the industry you're moving to. "Then when you talk to people in this industry - or send out your résumé - you should incorporate that jargon."

It also pays to take a close look at the corporate culture. "Some companies may appreciate your down-to-earth attitude when you speak of human capital, others might resent the term."

You can also use your soft skills across industries. “Knowledge, experience and skills are important, but social skills cannot replace them. Unfortunately, many managers have a lot to catch up on when it comes to soft skills, ”says Pollard. It therefore often happens that a highly qualified manager is hired and does not stay with the company for long because it does not fit on a human or corporate cultural level. There is also an imbalance between job seekers and companies that are desperately looking for a candidate for their positions.

Confidence and perseverance are the most important soft skills a job seeker can have, says Pollard. "Without this stamina, job seekers will be put off by every obstacle."

Convince HR managers

How do you convince an HR manager to hire you - even though other candidates have industry experience and you don't? Pollard recommends building trust. "Network with people who would recommend you to their superiors and HR managers."

Gentle tenacity shouldn't be underestimated either. “Ask, be present - but not annoying. This is the art of job hunting and networking. As with dating, you need to show interest without looking desperate. Follow your dream company on social media. Familiarize yourself with its objectives and the specifics of the industry and try to get a foot in the door through your contacts. "

A change of industry should not be taken lightly. Therefore, it is essential that you properly prepare for this step. The most important thing for a successful industry change is: Stay in a similar job position, use your network and show that your qualifications can be transferred very well to the new industry.