LinkedIn has made the transition to a new career or industry so much easier. It offers a plethora of tools and resources to best prepare you for a new phase of your career. It’s a matter of finding and utilizing those resources effectively.
Evaluate the skills inherent to your industry
Before you begin transitioning to another industry, it’s time to do a skills inventory. Take a moment to take account of the skills and experiences you have gained in your industry. Don’t take anything for granted. The skills you consider commonplace or universal may prove to be very valuable to your new industry. Take a look at the skills list you have accumulated in your LinkedIn profile to start. Then do a quick Google search to get a broader scope of the skills and experiences unique to your industry. Chances are you have a pretty lengthy list. That’s good! Make a Google Doc of those unique skills and experiences you have accumulated. They will help you out later. Taking inventory of your skills will help you communicate your unique value and insight to a recruiter and identify transferable skills.
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Evaluate unique skills and experiences unique to your specific career
We all know that each career in any industry provides different opportunities to specialize and develop different skills. Evaluate the skills you have developed in your specific career choice and how it related to your industry on a whole. This evaluation is done on a micro-level and will be unique to your specific experiences whereas the industry evaluation applies to a broader group of people. This will help you prepare experiences that mimic these unique experiences in your target industry or give you insight regarding some skills you need acquire before you can make a move. Fortunately, LinkedIn Learning offers a plethora of continuing education courses for the right price from other professionals established in their career.
Learn how to use LinkedIn conduct industry research
Identify skills and experiences unique to your target industry
Each industry is going to have a hallmark skill or experience that most of the professionals in that industry share (and probably take for granted). Is it excel experience? Sigma status? Project management? Find professionals you respect who work in your desired industry and take a look at their skills inventory. This will help you get a sense of what skills and experiences are unique to that industry. A quick Google search will provide you more information as well.
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Reach out to current professionals in your target industry/career
This by far is the most intimidating part for most people. Introducing yourself to someone in a completely different field can be intimidating especially if you are in no way connected to them. To make this process less awkward, try to find someone in your network who is already in that industry. If that doesn’t pan out (because it’s rarely ever that easy) try to find a second-degree connection who is in your target industry. A second-degree connection is someone who is connected to someone else in your network but is not directly connected to you. Ask that person to whom you are connected with to give you an introduction that that second-degree connection. The goal is to learn more about their experience in that industry. You want to make sure you’re getting the full picture of what you’re walking into if you decide to take this leap!
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Talk to professionals in your current industry who transitioned from another industry
This will be much easier. Chances are you know someone who has experience in another industry. Even if they don’t have experience in the industry you are interested in, talk to them about how they transitioned. Try to learn more about the process of transitioning. This will help address some of the lingering concerns you have about transitioning and help you best prepare.
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Make a move!
Once you’ve gathered enough data and information to help you prepare yourself, it’s time to make a move. That means using your network to leverage connections and make introductions to people who are currently in your target industry. Make your intention known to the right people and get your interview clothes ready! Use LinkedIn to keep track of openings and reach out to recruiters.
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If you’re making career moves, chances are you need to revamp your resume. Here’s how to use LinkedIn to keep your resume fresh and up to date. Here’s another resource to help you use LinkedIn to plan your career.