As the economy changes in Phoenix, with manufacturing making a recovery and energy sectors in growth mode, workers trying to make a transition to new industries are going to need preparation and a plan to execute. Time is crucial in any job search. Here are five ways to prepare for a move between industries that will make the process less painful and more efficient:
- Research the key skills the industry requires. This needs to be a ‘big picture’ view. Don’t get into the specific skills for the immediate job you want to secure, try to look a couple of levels higher. You won’t want to get into a new industry for one job that doesn’t have any opportunity to expand or develop your skills professionally.
- Identify where you can get the skills, fast but thoroughly. Think outside the box to other places you spend your time that could develop your skills – volunteering, community service, involvement in professional affiliations, clubs you can join, etc. If you need to get education or training for the skills, determine your options that will fit your work/life balance and career goals.
- Make your social media fit. Take the time to see what profiles and company pages look like for the industry you want to move into. Don’t make things up – modify verbiage and focus to match the industry objectives and key qualifications.
- Acknowledge that you need to show your ability to have soft skills at work. The new economy has found this differentiation between ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’. Identify the soft skills you have and be prepared to explain those effectively in your resume and the interview process. These include communication, self-confidence, professionalism, organization, problem-solving, and leadership.
- Be able to translate your past results into potential value for your next employer. The ‘what’s in it for me’ is crucial for any transition to a new job. Moving into a new industry is even more challenging than taking skills to a different company in the same area. Evaluate where you have produced positive results in the past and be ready to explain in your resume and interview how you will use those skills to assist their organization.