There’s nothing like that moment when you realize what it is you want to do with your life. It’s like all signs point in one direction and you finally have the determination to surge forward on a specific path ahead.
It’s fulfilling, it’s exhilarating, and it’s a satisfying culmination of countless hours spent soul-searching. But…it can also be terrifying. If that new direction happens to be in a completely different industry than you’ve been working in, you could fear years of lost work and effort moving towards something you no longer want. How will you start over again? Will all your experience and education be for naught?
The short answer is no. Not if you do it right. No matter what type of company or industry you want to start fresh in, you can make it happen if you handle the transition properly. Here’s how.
- Do some research about the company or industry about the company or industry that you are looking into. Find out what successful people are doing in that company or industry, what kind of culture does that company or industry embody, and what trends are currently taking place.
- Start networking. The best way to start your networking is through LinkedIn; keep in mind that your goal is to learn what someone in the company or industry did to get where they are now. Remember to always be polite and respectful when networking.
- Build a solid foundation using what you have learned about the company or industry. Utilize transferable skills and your personal brand to help you get off to a good start.
Wrapping It All Up: Weaving the Story
Here’s the good news. All of the work you’ve done to this point tells a story. You just have to find out what the story is. If you’re not sure, then just ask yourself these questions:
Why have I chosen this position? (Do that for every position on your resume)
What did I learn from this position? (Same)
How can I tie all of this together to form my personal brand? (What do your experiences and learnings have in common – or how did they lead you to where you are now and where you desire to go next?)
That’s your story. And once you’ve weaved the story up to the present, you can start weaving the story into the future:
What qualities, practices, and values does my desired company / industry expect?
What did I choose or learn in the past that point into that future direction I want?
How can I show that my past and present qualities, practices, and skills align with those of my desired company / industry?
Think of it like connecting the dots. All you have to do is draw the line from point A to point where-you-want-to-be and then consistently spread that message through your resume, your professional profiles on your website or LinkedIn or whatever else you have, and through your communications.
Keep doing this and you’ll get so good at telling that story that you’ll have no trouble making the transition and fitting right in as you learn your new role.