How to successfully switch industries with this 5-step plan

It’s difficult to take the leap into a new career or industry without knowing if it will be the right move. But don’t let fear get in the way of your chance at job satisfaction and overall happiness.

Everybody deserves to do fulfilling work that provides them with just reward for their skills and efforts.

Whether you’re looking to make the change for greater job satisfaction or more money, know that you’re not alone. In fact, switching careers, even at a later age, may be more common than you think.

Half of Australians want to make a career change, but two-thirds don’t know where to start.1

Sound familiar?

Knowing where to start can be the hardest thing. Take your advice from someone who’s been there before: Suzanne Rhow. Suzanne made the switch from selling luxury goods to high end real estate, but it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows…

The first thing I would advise anyone contemplating a career change is to be prepared to work tremendously hard and to be humble about learning. You’ve got to lose your ego. No matter how naturally smart you are or how successful you were in a previous career, there is a tremendous learning curve involved in major career transitions and you have to be strong enough to risk looking foolish and inexperienced. – Susanne Rhow, in a Forbes interview

If you’re still here and that didn’t scare you off, you’re clearly committed to making an important change in your life!

So, lets map out your plan step-by-step so this exciting change doesn’t seem so big and scary anymore.

Your 5-step plan for a successful career change without the regular stress and struggles:

Step 1: Consider why you want a change

This is the very first question you need to answer.

According to Joblist, these are the top 5 reasons that Australians change careers:

  1. Better pay
  2. Too stressful
  3. Better work-life balance
  4. Wanted a new challenge
  5. No longer passionate about their field

Whether you make a good old ‘pros and cons’ list or talk it through with a friend, understanding what’s driving you to make a change will help you make the right changes for the long-term.

Remember, knowing what you don’t like about a job is just as important as knowing what you do like.

Step 2: Narrow down your search to an industry

When you decide that your current industry is no longer a good fit, it’s easier said than done to just pick a new one.

Knowing there are thousands of industries and new job titles, you will drastically improve the potential for success if you take the time to pick the right industry for your new career path.

What’s more, companies want to hire people who are passionate about their industry. Your commitment to one industry will help you refine your job seeking methods and help you land a job quicker.

Step 3: Do you need to upskill?

For some jobs it’s non-negotiable, for others it’s negotiable, and if you’re lucky you won’t need to upskill at all.

Depending on your current industry and your chosen one, your skills and knowledge may be directly transferable.

Upskilling can be a deal-breaker for some jobseekers. Before you go any further chasing one specific job, check if you will need new skills or education. There is no point pouring your time and energy chasing a job if you’re unwilling to complete the required training and education that come with it.

Step 4: Take the job for a test drive

Seek experience in your new field. You could volunteer or investigate freelance options. Or you may like to shadow professionals to observe first-hand if it’s a fit for you.

Not only will this help you decide if it’s a good career move, it will also show potential employers that you are truly passionate and committed to the industry. Plus, you will increase your experience and knowledge – both of which can be invaluable as part of the job interview process.

Step 5: Look for people, not for jobs

Instead of spending all your time and energy searching and applying for jobs, search for the right people who will lead you to the right jobs.

Talk to people who have access to the job you want. Talk to employers and professionals in the industry who can share their insights. Engage with industry-specific recruiters who can connect you with real opportunities.

Coastal Recruitment Group are the leading boutique recruitment agency in Newcastle and the Central Coast, specialising in the professional services industry.

The job market is ever-changing, but our Recruitment Specialists are eager to help you on your job search.

Ready to find a new career path, score your dream job and achieve your career goals?

Contact me, Callan Dooley on LinkedIn or send through your resume to for a confidential and open conversation about your future aspirations.



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