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Is now the time to change industries
or pivot careers?
Although it’s possible you’ve been thinking about making a change for a while, it’s also possible that you never considered it until the Covid-19 pandemic happened. A combination of the stay-at-home orders, social distancing, etc. have impacted how and where we work. Many industries like hospitality and travel, much of the retail industry, as well as the food & beverage industries have been disproportionately hit hard.

Some things to consider when changing industries:

·        Do your homework . Talk to others in the “new” field. How has their firm/industry been impacted? Is their company hiring? If so, is it similar to pre-pandemic hiring, or are they focused only on certain areas of the company? How would someone with your skill set fit in? Do they hire people from outside the industry?  Find out as much as you can from a number of people in a variety of roles and organizations in order to gather the most comprehensive and realistic data.

·        Learn the language . This is part of “doing your homework.” Every industry has its own set of acronyms and terms. Get familiar with them. Read industry trade publications, journals and blogs to become more knowledgeable and get yourself up-to-speed.

·        Transferable skills . Look at job postings to see what type of qualifications and requirements companies expect in qualified candidates. Evaluate your skills and how they can transfer to a role in a new industry. This will be critical when tailoring your resume and creating compelling cover letters.

·        Find the “gaps” in your skill set. Determine if a job in this new industry requires skills that you currently don’t have. Look into certifications, online classes and possibly some strategic volunteering as a means to acquiring these skills.

·        Be realistic. Maybe it’s working at that big name company that really appeals to you. Perhaps that is a better end game than first step. Consider looking at smaller and midsize companies where you can gain industry knowledge and experience as a stepping stone to that “dream company.”

-Mary Beth Barrett-Newman, Career Coach, CRC Board Member and Advisor
Caroline Ceniza-Levine,
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