When you were younger, what did you want to do with your life? As children, we are told that we can achieve anything that we set our minds to, but in reality that’s not always easy, particularly if you’re thinking of a career change. Moving into a new industry is going to take time and energy, but there are some simple ways you can explore new directions and opportunities, beginning with a mind map and working outwards from there.
Firstly, if your question is: “How do I get into a new industry?” then you’re asking the wrong question. To move into a new industry, what you should really be asking is:
- What do I want from my job?
- What are my skills?
- How can I add value to a new company?
- What opportunities are available to me?
- What else do I need to learn?
- How can I meet the right people?
What do I want from my job?
Think about all the things you want from your job role, company and lifestyle. Would you prefer flexible or remote working to a more traditional routine? How important are training and professional development opportunities? What’s more important for you; a dog-friendly office and a focus on wellbeing or an opportunity to progress to shareholder? Whatever you’re after, you can map out ideas using Mind Doodle and color coordinate each idea to visually rate their importance. Once you’ve done that, it’s easier to align yourself with companies with the same values.
What are my skills?
In terms of changing industry, think about the transferrable skills you have. How can your knowledge give you an edge?
- Negotiation skills can lead you into business, sales, client communications, leadership, HR and management.
- Analytics skills can be used for measuring ROI, user feedback, forecasting sales or setting targets, assessing investment opportunities or data analysis.
- Communication skills come into any industry in the form of networking and business development, stakeholder management, leadership, delivering clear briefs, project management and general team skills.
- Problem solving links to reverse engineering across hardware and software, innovation and creative solutions, marketing and PR.
How can I add value to a new company?
Diversity is the biggest creative advantage any business can have. Find something that is unique about you, which adds value that sets you aside from others. A company with a range of different viewpoints, experiences and cultures is extremely important, and you can increase your chance of finding your perfect role in a new industry by understanding and explaining how your personal circumstances inform your decisions daily. So don’t just focus on your skills, express how your life experience makes you a valuable candidate.
What opportunities are available to me?
Once you’ve assessed what you can bring to a new company, it’s time to think seriously about the opportunities that are available to you. What is within your reach and fits within your desired location, salary and company ethos? You can mind map job vacancies to explore your options whilst staying realistic, which brings us on nicely to the next point.
What else do I need to learn?
The skills that you’ve developed over the years will likely by the central part of your job application, combined with personality and ambition. However, it’s not just important to think about what you do well. You must assess your weaknesses too. Creating an honest mind map of your skills, including areas that need improvement, is a visual way to think critically about the skills you have and the skills you lack.
Although you are highlighting areas that need work, this is a positive and proactive thing to do because you’ll be able to assess your strengths and weaknesses, helping you to decide where to focus your efforts and whether to develop the skills that could hinder your progress.
How can I meet the right people?
Network. It doesn’t need to be as formal as you think. Join some groups where you can meet people with common interests, and if you’re worried that you can’t step into a room full of experts, just remember that although they won’t have the same knowledge as you, that can be a good thing. You will be an expert in areas where they are beginners, that’s just how it works.
When you first start researching networking opportunities, the number of events, conferences and meet ups you come across may be overwhelming. Using Mind Doodle to create a mind map of upcoming events, including dates, expected attendees and the event themes, will allow you break down the selection into manageable chunks to help you decide which to prioritise and attend.
Entering a new industry is an exciting challenge that can be simplified by mind mapping to break down the steps for assessing your skills, finding opportunities and planning how to reach them.
Watch this video to learn how to create a mind map.