How To Change Industries As A ManagerJ.T. O’Donnellon August 7, 2023 at 6:30 pm Work It Daily


You might be wondering if it’s possible to change industries as a manager. Of course it is. But is it easy? Well, not to people who don’t know how to do it.

Here’s the good news: you already have management experience. It’s actually harder, in my opinion, to go from an independent contributor role to a manager role when you’re switching companies, and it’s even harder when you’re changing industries.

But when you’re changing industries as a manager, you already have management experience. And that’s the most important thing employers are looking for.

Show Employers You Have The Management Experience And Can Learn The Rest.

@j.t.odonnell Replying to @nicflemrn How to switch industries as a manager. #jobsearch #manager #switchjobs #switchcareer #careerswitch #careerhelp #careeradvice #careerchange ♬ original sound – J.T. O’Donnell

You have management experience. Now you have to connect the dots for the hiring managers in that industry. You have to show them that, in spite of not having their exact industry experience, your management experience is so important and you can learn the rest.

So how do you do that?

Well, you start with informational interviews. Find five managers who are managing in that industry. Ask them to coffee or to lunch or a virtual meeting and say, “Look, I’m not asking you for help getting a job. What I’m trying to understand is where my gaps are and what I’m going to need to do to close those gaps so that I could get a management job in this industry.”

People are happy to help you like that. They’re happy to sit down, talk it through, and give you advice and tips. That’s going to help you. But you’re also networking in the industry so that when their company has a management position open up, you can message them and say:

“Hey, I just applied to the open position on your company’s site. I’m so grateful I had that conversation with you because it really helped me prepare. And I’ve done a few things since. And, hopefully, the hiring manager might take a look at me for the position.”

What’s going to happen?

Well, first of all, this person is going to love that. You said they were helpful. Second of all, since they got to know you, they might walk down the hall or message the hiring manager and tell them they should pull your resume from the pile because you’re actually worth looking at as an applicant.

Only 25% of applicants are usually qualified for the role. Not everybody has the experience. But what employers need most is people who have the right personality and some of the key skills (like management experience) more so than industry experience.

So, if you do the informational interviewing, you’re going to build a network. You’re going to find out where your gaps are so that you can close them. And then you’ll stand out to employers as a great job candidate despite not having the exact industry experience.

This is how you change industries as a manager. It all comes down to that management experience.

You can do this, my friend. Go get ’em!

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