As jobseekers, it is natural to look for positions we are familiar with. After all, when you have worked in the same industry for years on end, moving into uncharted territory can sometimes feel like having to start from scratch again.
Yet, such a big career change is possible, even in your 40s and 50s — if you take the right steps early. With newly equipped skills from our programmes, you’ll open up paths to new careers you never thought of. Here, we provide some suggestions for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who are thinking of venturing into a whole new industry.
Understand what the role demands
A good place to start is to examine job descriptions, which will tell you what companies are looking for. If an IT start-up company specifies experience with SAP or Salesforce implementation, or knowledge in a particular programming language, for example, then that gives you a clue about the kind of skills you need in order to be considered above other candidates for the job.
For deeper dives into what the industry is like as a whole, you can attend your pick of free talks, career fairs, seminars and webinars, which often focus on specific industries. Platforms like Meetup also are a good source of information about casual networking and industry-related events, and there are niche groups on the platform catering to everyone from finance professionals to healthcare practitioners and digital marketers. Hearing what industry veterans and experts have to say should help you navigate the new field.
Plug into the latest trends
The internet is your friend, so use it to get a feel for what is going on in the industry you are interested in.
For example, let’s say you are looking to join the engineering or manufacturing industries. The first thing to do is to find out what is making the industry tick. A quick Google search for “industry news in manufacturing” will tell you that Industry 4.0 and automation are trends that are generating a lot of discussion in these industries right now. As a potential entrant to the industry, the impact of automation — and the opportunities it offers — is something you want to be aware of right from the get-go.
Follow the leaders
There is a reason why, whenever the likes of leading business magnates Jack Ma and Elon Musk share their thoughts on a subject, everyone pays attention. Thought leaders are the ones who set the course for entire industries — they are trendsetters if you will. This means that if you want to know the latest developments in a specific industry, hearing what thought leaders have to say on topics like the growth potential in their sector would be invaluable in your job search.
Don’t restrict yourself to global leaders – following local influencers can keep you up to date with trends that may have a more direct impact on the industry specifically in your region. In Singapore’s financial services and fintech industry, for example, Sopnendu Mohanty, chief financial technology officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Neal Cross, chief innovation officer at DBS are powerful voices. Connect with them or follow their updates on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Talk to a career coach
If you think you need professional help with career change ideas, get in touch with Career Coaches from WSG’s Careers Connect. They will guide you in your job search and the career planning and development process. They can assess if the new industry is a good fit with your interests and skills, thus easing your transition. The best part about approaching a career coach is that their recommendations are tailored to your specific needs.
Use our skills matching technology to find the right career
If you have identified the new industry you want to join and the skills you need to get there, start searching on our jobs listing. State your skills and let our advanced skills matching algorithm narrow down your options so that you improve your chances of finding a good match.
Singapore Business Review, 27 February 2015 — http://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/commentary/how-switch-industries-mid-career-in-singapore-1