Depending on what you do for a living or what you are expecting out of the career you’re building, you may feel like a new job is the wrong choice. Sometimes, “starting over” at a new company or in a new industry means giving up seniority, specialized expertise, and opportunities for promotion and pay increase.

But still, there are times in life that you’re due for a fresh start, a new adventure. If you’re in that place, or considering it as a possibility, here are some thoughts and pieces of advice for changing industries.

Your Experience Still Counts for Something

The tools, trainings, and expertise you’ll need in your new job may be completely new to you. But that doesn’t mean you’re completely starting over. Your skills stay with you, even if they look different. If you were a coach, you can use those same skills as an insurance broker. If you managed the night shift at a restaurant, the skills you used to work with your people will follow you into your new job as an account rep. In other words, make sure you open your eyes to the similarities in your new job, and not just the differences. It will help you from feeling too far underwater. It will also help you bring your best to a new space.

Give Yourself Homework

If you think about the people you admire in the workplace — whether it’s at your job or it’s a business leader or motivational speaker you follow on social media — it’s not their commitment to staying the same that makes them worth following. It’s their commitment to growth. It’s not their desire to blend in that makes them admirable. It’s their willingness to go above and beyond. As you move into a new world, with a different culture, a different language, and a different system of metrics and measurement for success, commit to learning it. Spend some time in the evening watching videos on YouTube about leaders in your new industry. Read articles. Research methods, softwares, and tactics being utilized by others. Commit to learning what works and what doesn’t. The more you can engage with your new job, new company, and new industry, the more opportunities you’ll have to make this transition into a new world an exciting one.

Set a Timeline

This may seem odd…to set a timeline for your new job. What it’s not saying is that you should limit the time you’ll commit to your new job. It’s not saying that you should be thinking about your departure date before you even start. Quite the opposite. It’s simply saying that you should enter your new industry with a number in mind: “I won’t even consider leaving this job for at least 2 years…5 years…etc.” Decide now that you’re not being impulsive and shortsighted; that you’re committing to learning something new and giving it an honest effort. Discouragement and setbacks are bound to come. There's no perfect job or perfect industry. But if you can stick to your number, you’ll learn more about your job — and yourself — than you ever knew possible.

It’s an interesting time to be in the market for a new job. Our economy has drastically changed since COVID. Supply chain issues and workforce shortages have interrupted lives and changed the landscape of companies in just about every industry. But if all of these changes are signaling a new season for you, then do all you can to make it a worthwhile change of pace!

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