At a time when unemployment is still stubbornly high, you may find yourself needing to find greener pastures to stay employed. It may be that the industry that you have experience in has a glut of workers, and staying in that industry is extremely difficult.
How do you know when it’s time to switch industries?
One sign that job seekers should pay attention to is the consolidation of employers. Even though mergers and acquisitions have become normal these days, job seekers should keep an eye out on any industry that is doing more than its fair share of them. The more large employers swallow up other employers, the fewer jobs there will be in that industry for the long term. As companies merge, the parent company typically only needs but so many people in each type of position. They will quickly move to eliminate redundancies. And the market becomes saturated with workers who have similar skill sets.
Another sign to watch for is outsourcing, and especially offshoring. Since labor costs are usually the biggest expense, companies try to save as much as they can through outsourcing and offshoring. If you see that the type of work that you do can be and is being shipped overseas, that is a warning signal that the industry you work in may truly be at risk for becoming a declining industry. An example of this would be manufacturing,
How do you judge a new target market?
Do your research. Find information at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (www.bls.gov) about your target market. You will be able to find out if the new industry is growing, declining, or staying flat.
What do you need to make the switch successful?
What is most important is that your skills are transferable to the new industry. There is a distinction between a profession and an industry. Many professions are represented in several industries. For example, you will find accountants in every industry because every organization needs someone to manage the books. Human resources is another profession that is represented across all industries. If you are in a profession that crosses industry boundaries, it will be relatively easy to transfer your skill set to a new industry.
To ease the transition to a new industry and to gain credibility within that industry, I suggest that job seekers invest the time in learning the lingo of the new industry. Read industry journals and attend industry events. If you learn the lingo, you will sound like an insider instead of an outsider, and it will be far easier to convince a potential employer that you are the perfect candidate.
If you would like to speak with a career coach about changing industries, send an email to email@example.com or call 877-743-9521.