Land Your Dream Job in a New Industry
I am not someone who grew up knowing exactly what I wanted to do. The idea of my dream job has evolved and changed over time.
There have been times in my career when I had to get creative about transitioning to a new role, especially when it involved changing industries.
It can feel daunting when you finally decide what job you want to pursue, only to realize you don’t have the types of work experience hiring-managers and recruiters expect to see on the resumes of qualified candidates.
This is where a little creativity can come into play. Because relevant experience is relative.
And I should know. My career has taken some interesting turns.
Following college I spent several years working in strategic operations for early stage, venture-funded technology start-ups. After that I founded and ran an event design company for a few years.
From there, I worked on the real estate team at a fast growing technology company. And now, I am a corporate real estate broker helping companies find their perfect office space.
While some of these roles may seem relatively unrelated, the transitions I undertook were surprisingly seamless due to some networking leg work and creativity on my end.
So if you’re interested in making a career change yourself, but want to be able to build upon your accomplishments in a seemingly unrelated field…
Then keep reading!
How to Land Your Dream Job Even If You’re New to The Industry
1. Don’t Focus on Titles, Focus on Responsibilities
When I was hired at an event production company, I had very little event experience on my resume. My previous jobs had all been in operations for small tech companies.
However, while at those tech companies I often found myself coordinating events ranging from investor presentations to holiday parties.
It was a skill and interest that only grew because my operations job had given me the chance to dive into corporate events head first. It was something I pointed out in my cover letter and again in my emails to the interviewer to make sure they saw the related experience.
If I hadn’t been quick to point out my responsibilities with corporate events, I guarantee I would not have landed my resume in the to-be-interviewed group in the first place.
PRO-TIP: Don’t expect hiring-managers and recruiters will read beyond the titles listed on your resume. You have to advocate for yourself by pointing out your responsibilities within each role listed on your resume and how they relate to that of the job you’ve applied for.
2. Pursue Your Passions
Upon scoring the interview with the event production company mentioned above, I was asked about some of my hobbies.
At the time, one of my biggest hobbies was working on my lifestyle blog. I had spent hours revising my Wordpress template, posting about creative event inspiration, or my latest food obsession.
It was on my first day of work that I had a chance to reunite with the owner of the company who had interviewed me and he said, “Do you know why I hired you? I saw you light up talking about your blog and recognized it was something that took hard work, creative pursuit, and a lot of self-discipline. Those are the characteristics that will help you thrive here!”
PRO-TIP: Have hobbies and passion projects. My passion project ended up getting me my 9-5, and yours can too!
3. Get to Know Everyone
Job leads can come from seemingly unlikely sources.
This is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s so important that it’s worth mentioning. I was able to score my current job because I had casually mentioned to a furniture vendor that I was taking real estate classes at night in order to become a broker.
That furniture vendor knew someone who was looking for an assistant, and within days I was interviewing with my current company.
It’s so important that you take the time to get to know everyone you can, and put the word out there if there’s something you’re after.
PRO-TIP: You’re always networking, so be ready. You never know where your next conversation will lead you.
5. Think Outside Your Industry
When it comes to networking, it can be easy to get tunnel vision and only socialize with people already in your industry.
If you work in insurance sales, I’m sure you’re getting invited to insurance-related events and sales workshops all the time. An art mixer or a workshop in a new skill might be a good change of pace.
PRO-TIP: Challenge yourself to explore other groups of people in order to open up new doors. You never know who you could meet or what you could learn.
Need new people to network with?
Learn about upcoming GET Phoenix events [HERE].
6. Consider How You Can Help Others
Gain some good karma by offering to help others. You’ll be surprised at the help that comes your way.
The best networkers know that it’s not a one-way street, but that givers get. Often you need to do something for someone before they’ll extend a favor your way.
You could offer to look over someone’s resume, connect a friend to someone you know would make a great mentor, or even just take someone out to lunch to hear more about their career.
PRO-TIP: Be the helpful person you’re looking for, and in return help will be there when you need it.
Land Your Dream Job in a New Field
If you’re considering a new job - or an entirely new career path - think of the relevant experience from your previous job and try to connect some dots.
If you’re able to find a connection, I bet hiring-managers and recruiters will be able to see it as well. Step out of your comfort zone, offer to help others, and watch as the doors open for you and your career.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Lovell represents companies in their real estate negotiations throughout the valley as a Commercial Real Estate Broker at Jones Lang LaSalle. Before joining JLL, Lauren managed real estate finance for a tech start-up company headquartered in San Francisco.
Lauren is on the Board of Directors at Phoenix Children's Hospitals 40 under 40 program. Lauren is also a College Coach for ScholarMatch, a non-profit whose mission is to enable low income, first generation college students to apply for and succeed in college.