Time for a career change? How to find a job in another industry

November 5, 2020

Time for a career change? How to move industry

People seek to change jobs for various reasons. It could be to pursue a more challenging role, better pay, finding a work-life balance, or to explore new interests.

Changing career fields is common in every sector, but perhaps a famous example in the engineering world is Elon Musk.

After studying energy physics and material science at university, Musk began his career by running a software company. However, he now owns companies in various industries, from automotive to space travel.

Exploring new career paths can be rewarding if you take time to

  • evaluate your situation
  • consider your options
  • and enhance your skills to fit into your new position.

According to the 2020 GETI report, 77% of employees would consider switching to a new sector within the next 3 years.

Career progression was cited as the biggest motivation  to switch, followed by interest in the wider industry and innovation.

What’s more interesting is that 77 percent of professionals who change jobs become happier, more satisfied, and more fulfilled. As you embark on your job search, consider the following tips for finding a job in a new industry.

Feeling stuck? Consider your options and make an industry change

Changing industries can be a daunting prospect. Particularly if you need to develop your skills to fit in with your desired role.

For this reason, taking small steps to assess your options and potential career paths can help you understand your capabilities. It also provides a clear vision of how they fit in with your industry of choice.

Finding the best job option for you requires a level of effort and commitment.

You might find it helpful to discuss opportunities with family, friends, and networking contacts to get their opinion on the matter. Your close network can help you make a sound decision as you consider a new industry.

Similarly, making connections in your target sectors can give you valuable insight into the working culture.

Conduct research

The more informed you are about your target industry, the better chance you have of a successful career change. A few tips you can use here include:

  • Researching roles and progression opportunities
  • Conducting informational interviews with professionals in the industry to find out what those roles are like to work in
  • Get work experience if possible
  • Speak to other career changers. Reach out to other switchers on social media and ask which transferable skills they were able to leverage
  • Keep track of your contacts - these can help you to meet hiring managers in the industry you want to work in. It may also alert you to new opportunities in their fields

It’s worth noting that it’s easier to narrow down your targets before researching them. This helps you to invest your time in the most productive activities.

Upgrade your skills


In most cases, a shift in industry requires an upgrade in skills. This ensures you are well-equipped with the expertise to handle new tasks proficiently.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go back to college or start a new course. Although some online courses may be beneficial. However, it is helpful to enhance your current skills by leveraging the opportunities at your current job.

For instance, let’s say you want to shift from energy to the infrastructure industry. You can enhance your fundamental skills that are transferable. Both sectors need construction management, communication skills, strong work ethic and management capabilities.

Additional skills go a long way in making you a preferred employee in your target company.

Rebrand yourself

When venturing into a new industry, it can help to build a personal brand that aligns with your target job. This is particularly essential if you have acquired new skills or have gained any new experience along the way.

It is worth keeping in mind that your new employer will look at how your personal brand contributes to company growth.

The term ‘personal brand’ refers to the way you promote your skills, experience and work ethic to other professionals. It should reflect your attitudes, conduct and behaviour from a professional standpoint.

Take time to assess your skills and experiences and how they might apply to the role you want to work in. Consider using LinkedIn to build a personal brand that is appealing to potential employers.

Shadow professionals in the role or industry you want to work in

Shadowing professionals in your target industry allows you an opportunity to experience first-hand how the job is done.

You can spend plenty of time watching how these experts conduct their day to day responsibilities. In addition, you can volunteer to carry out some of these tasks yourself.

Shadowing is a great opportunity to

  • work with people in your chosen industry
  • gain valuable experience
  • increase your visibility of job opportunities

How can Airswift help?

Changing industries can be very exciting, especially if you have a tangible plan on how you will go about the transition.

Airswift is a global workforce solutions provider for the energy, process, and infrastructure industries. We have over 40 years of experience servicing the energy, process and infrastructure industries.

Our unrivalled global presence, understanding of labour, tax regulations, and payroll means we can support you at every stage of the recruitment process.

Ready to get started? Register with our job board today to set up a job alert tailored to your search.

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This post was written by: Sara Howren, VP - Global Recruitment Delivery at Airswift