Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
Posted September 22, 2020

Tips to get a job in a new industry

Looking for work in a new field? Here's how to position your current skills to get a new job.
Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
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Tips to get a job in a new industry
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#Coronavirus has hit some industries, like hospitality and #retail, especially hard. If you’re working in one of these sectors, you may wonder where to look for a job now. While it may take a while for these businesses to return to “normal,” you can expand your job search right away by looking for work in a different industry where your past experience will be an asset when you apply.

Understand your 'transferable' skills

You may wonder how can you get a job in a new industry if you don’t have all the skills required. Think of your years of experience as a strength, and not a weakness.The truth is, you probably already have many of the skills needed for the job, you just need to think and talk about them in a new way.

Transferable skills are the talents and abilities that ‘travel’ with you to any other position. The first step in translating your past experience into a new role is to pinpoint what your transferable skills are.

Basic skills

Basic skills are essential in any work context. Basic skills include listening, speaking, and the ability to carry out instructions. You may be a really good listener, or have a knack for being able to follow complicated processes. Take note of those skills.

People skills

People skills include a wide range of abilities that help you interact with others in an effective and pleasant way. It’s important to have the skills necessary to communicate and work with others. Effective people skills include

  • assertiveness
  • self-confidence
  • open-mindedness
  • teamwork
  • empathy
  • understanding boundaries
  • good manners / being polite
  • problem-solving

Management skills

Even if you’ve never "been the boss", you may have experience overseeing other people’s work. If you’ve trained a new employee or helped set shift schedules, those are great management skills to showcase. Patience, time management, the ability to work under pressure, good judgment, and having an open mind are also desired management abilities.

Clerical skills

Clerical expertise is knowing how to effectively use administrative systems and functions, such as phones and email, Microsoft Office products, and internal systems. Examples of internal systems include warehouse management software, resource planning systems (known as an ERP), point-of-sale systems, manufacturing and retail fulfillment software, and billing and invoice software.

Research and planning skills

These transferable skills include the ability to organize, solve problems, set goals, prioritize tasks, develop and implement policies and procedures, and locate and reach out to suppliers or subcontractors.

Now that you have taken stock of your transferable skills, look at ways to apply your skill set in new industries.

Examples:

  • Do you have experience working in the retail industry? You probably have excellent people skills and attention to detail which would be viewed favorable in any customer service role.

  • Have you worked in a bar or restaurant and as part of that role had set-up, side work, or cleaning duties? Working in a bar or restaurant requires skills that include goal setting, customer service, prioritizing tasks, patience, and good judgment. These attributes could help land you a new position in sales, training, or operations.

  • Hospitality workers have a range of qualities, including listening skills, customer service, teamwork, problem-solving, and the ability to carry out instructions. You may consider working in a warehouse or fulfillment center.

More helpful tips

Reframe your job profile or resume

Once you’ve identified the industry or job type you want to enter, tailor your job profile and resume to represent your skills and experience in a way that shows you’d be a suitable candidate.

Reinforce your qualifications in the interview

Be prepared to match your skills to the qualifications of the job during the interview. Reflect on your work experience and be ready with examples of how you developed and used those skills. It doesn't hurt to show your enthusiasm and readiness for learning new skills, too!


What are your thoughts on transferable skills? Share with us in the comments below.

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Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
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Jay Felts

I am a single father two children and I have been approved for pua and haven’t received anything. This pandemic has effected me since March because my kids are homeschooled and I am unable to work. We are now at a point I don’t know what to do.

1y
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Javier Mairena

Hello Jay, contact your State Representative for help and your PUA benefits I got help in Arizona since it was a nightmare dealing with Unemployment and getting through to them, God bless!

1y
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zepora merritt

Thanks for the advice I hadn't looked at it in that way, yes I really needed reminding and again thanks for the help

1y
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Ford Simpson

Great information Kai,I have worked with people while at the zoo and giving tours also at UPS(when I wasn't being chased by dogs). Would like to change jobs but the timing is something that I will be leery about. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush,Ford

1y
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Jacqueline Myles

Thanks Kai Dickerson this is good information I was just thinking about how I would be a good candidate for another position in another field as you said in your article about hospitality and tourism jobs may not come back as fast or even if companies will recover from this, so I ask myself where will my skills be must needed, and I thank you once again for reminding me that good customer service skills can go well in mostly any industry .

1y
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