Tag: changing industries
Looking back, I have probably coached and written resumes for over 4000 executives in all kinds of industries. Here are a few things I have learned along the way that I hope you will benefit from.
- Worry about things that never happen.
Most clients I work with have shared numerous worries they thought would hold them back, like their age, too little or too much salary, the economy, a shrinking industry, too many jobs in the last 10 years, and being fired or laid off (just to name a few). I am happy to report that these same executives went to on achieve – and in many cases exceed – their career goals. How did they do it? Usually through a combination of the following:
- Education that the reality of their concerns was often overemphasized to the point of being counterproductive.
- Obstacles were minimized or eradicated through a well-planned marketing strategy.
- An expertly crafted resume showcased their strengths and was in sync with their goals.
- Believe they can’t successfully change industries.
I love to hear the excitement in my clients’ voices when they are shown that successfully changing industries is more about their plan, their resume, their networking approach, and they coaching they receive than their experience!
- Feel they interview very well, when they don’t.
“Just help me land the interviews and I will do the rest.” I have heard that dozens of times from seasoned professionals that made one simple error: They mistook their amazing charisma and people skills for great interview skills. Believe me, there is a big difference. I have seen firsthand how just answering one question the “wrong way” quickly leads to a lost candidacy.
- Can’t write an interest-generating resume.
There are multiple reasons for this, such as:
- The use of industry jargon (resumes need to be written with an audience of at least 5 different departments in mind).
- The inability to write objectively.
- Failure to craft a resume from a marketing perspective.
- Writing about what was accomplished and not what happened as a result.
- Didn’t know how much career coaching and marketing would help them, until they used it.
I can personally relate. I didn’t realize how much a business coach would help me until I hired one. It’s respectable to want to do things for ourselves – and there is a beneficial degree of learning in it – but if you have ever played sports and had an excellent coach, or studied under a dynamic teacher, then you have already experienced the value that a true professional can bring and the many ways they can help you to reach your full potential.
I hope if you have identified with any of these points, it will help you to quickly and easily take action to shore up areas for improvement. I promise this will result in a much more enjoyable and fruitful job search for you!
Perhaps the largest group of job seekers I help are those who wish to change industries or positions within their industry. The good news is that, although most job seekers believe they have to take a big pay cut to do it, this has been the exception and not the rule with my clients.
How did they do it? Once they determined their industry or position of choice and upgraded their resume and other marketing materials to support them, they learned how to tap into the hidden job market and go direct in order to make their move. Learning how to tap the hidden job market is by far the most valuable skill you can learn in your job search. Please see my book in this same series on this critical topic: The Career Artisan Series: The Hidden Job Market – Guide for the Perplexed.
Resume Tips for Changing Industries
- Create a functional resume. Format your resume in a “functional” style that highlights functional strengths and transferable skills that match your new position/industry.
- Outline quantifiable achievements in the strengths you want to highlight. Example: customer service—“increased customer satisfaction by 79%.”
- Group keywords under a list called core competencies or key strengths. You can include areas of study that match your new industry and secondary things that might be important in your new industry like speaking more than one language or cross-cultural communications.
- Volunteer activities: if you have been involved in volunteer or community activities that enhance or match your industry of choice, you can put that together with your academic achievements on the first page of your resume.
- Use the indeed.com mirroring technique outlined in Chapter 1 of my book, The Career Artisan Series: The Hidden Job Market – Guide for the Perplexed, to make certain you have all the right keywords in your resume:
- Go to indeed.com.
- Find an example of your ideal job.
- Highlight all the keywords and phrases you see where you match.
- Weave those keywords throughout your resume.
Here is an example:
VP Marketing—XYZ Corporation
Summary of Position
The Vice President Marketing is responsible for the planning, development and implementation of marketing plans and activities including the identification of markets, estimations of sales volumes and profits, the pricing and margin strategies of product lines, drive strategic growth strategies and assures a consistent marketing and communication approach across business units.
The position requires an understanding of global markets, latest electronics industries technology trends, and competitive market strategies. To be successful in this role, the candidate must have a solid understanding of our (or similar) Electronic, Electrical and Transportation product and the global routes to market.
The success of the position is measured by increased sales penetration into existing accounts, by sales growth with new customers and markets as well as leading our marketing strategy and strategic growth initiatives across all business units.
- Lead strategic development of marketing strategies that develops and implements plans and activities including identification of market, estimates of sales volume and profits; and pricing and margin strategies for specific products to establish, enhance or distinguish product placement within our markets.
- Lead growth and emerging market initiatives leveraging direct and dotted line resources. Own and report on pro-forma P&Ls on key initiatives.
- Utilizes market research, monitors competitive activity, trends and selling strategies and identifies customer needs. Works with engineering, manufacturing, sales and outbound marketing to develop new products or enhance existing product(s) based on internal and external needs and capabilities, including market size, user needs and available technology.
- Recruit, develop and motivate a skilled Marketing and Product Management team capable of growing the business significantly in the years ahead.
- Lead or direct implementation of tactics and resources necessary to achieve Product Management and Marketing Communication objectives, including advertising, media, public relations, trade shows, web presence, e-marketing.
- Develops portfolio business plans, strategies and product positioning for strategic growth initiatives. Responsible for coordination of product/program development, including financial, market and technical justification for product selection and definitions.
- Perform financial justification of new products; help establish and manage pricing policy for the full product line, working with Finance to meet the organization’s financial goals.
- Lead the Company’s efforts to acquire & analyze customer and market data to understand our customers’ requirements and our competitors’ activities, and steer our organization and marketing efforts accordingly.
There is a multitude of job options for the attorney who no longer wishes to work in a law firm environment.
If you are considering an industry change, the following valuable tips will help you take action:
Make a Plan
First comes the soul-searching. What do you want to do?
Do you like research and dislike litigating? Are you drawn towards conflict resolution? Love rain-making and billable hours? (I was just seeing if you are paying attention!) In other words, what motivates you? Know yourself — write down your strengths and begin to crystallize your core competencies.
Have you evaluated your law-related career options? Did you know that many lawyers make very successful transitions into roles such as:
• Alternative dispute resolution specialist
• Association executive
• Human resources manager
• (Legal) executive recruiter
• Risk manager
• Bar association professional
• International trade and investment consultant
• Social legislation analyst
• Acquisitions/divestitures professional
• Economic development specialist.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Put the Plan into Action
Once you have your goals clear, develop a strategic plan to discover opportunities to move your dreams to reality.
Uncover the jobs both in advertised and unadvertised markets. The best jobs are not necessarily easily found, but the best career marketing approach that gives you the greatest marketing exposure is to use multiple strategies, simultaneously. For example, consider open positions (found on the Internet); somewhat hidden positions (recruiters/trade associations and networking); and unadvertised positions (identification of companies within your industry of choice that have indications of growth, which could expose a need for someone like you to fill).
There are many ways to do this. To do it well, the busy attorney often times needs help. But, if you choose to go it alone, here are some ideas to help you use your time wisely.
Respond to open jobs by having jobs come to you 24/7. Set up e-mail agents so the jobs come to your e-mail inbox through a job search engine. Resist the temptation to get lost on the Internet for hours, only to feel frustrated in the end..com.
Network with the right people. Activity is no substitute for progress. Most job searchers have heard the long-standing advice about the benefits of networking. There is an erroneous understanding that building contacts and networking with friends, family and associates reaps the greatest reward.
Make a positive first impression. Your resume and career marketing correspondence must be written to the target audience. Law resumes, CVs and business resumes have dramatically different elements. Here’s where a little consultation with a professional consultant might prove valuable, as he or she will likely know how to specifically-tailor your resume to showcase your best strengths, capabilities and transferable skills.
On a positive note, it may help you to know that most employers are always on the lookout for good people. They are appreciative of foresight and ingenuity. And most are willing to look in unconventional places (trade associations, referrals, etc.) before they “post an ad” for an open position.
With clear goals and a strategic plan, followed consistently, you will increase your chances of landing your dream job exponentially.
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There are many reasons people want to become lawyers. One of the most common reasons is a desire to help people. Elder law is a legal specialty that helps a rapidly growing segment of the population — the elderly.
Elder law is a pretty new field. It began only two decades ago. The American Bar Association recognized it as a distinct field in the early 1990s.
Although it’s a new field, it’s expanding quickly. There are now about 5,000 members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in the United States.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) predicts that demand for lawyers will grow at an average rate through 2014. However, the OOH predicts that elder law is one of the legal areas that will see the most growth.
Allan Bogutz practices elder law in Arizona. He says the recent development of elder law shouldn’t be surprising.
“In 1900, the average life expectancy was 46 years,” he says. “The causes of death were different. They were infection, industrial accidents and childbirth. People are living longer now. So when we talk about elder law being a new field, elders are kind of a new field as well. Law and aging is a new issue completely, because aging is a new issue.”
Shifting roles within families and social changes are also contributing to this need.
“Prior to World War II, we could expect that elder people would, for the most part, go to live with their families,” Bogutz says. “Care responsibilities for older people fell on daughters and daughters-in-law. Now, nobody’s home in two-income families, and also people retire to distant places and their family is not there. So contextually, elder law is a new field meeting a new need.”
What exactly do elder law attorneys do? Depending on their cases, elder law attorneys could work on issues such as age discrimination, elder abuse, long-term care planning and guardianship.
Bogutz says that within the field, some sub-specialties will likely be in high demand. These include family business succession (the logistics of passing on a family business), arrangements for disabled adult children, taxes and financial planning.
Ann Krauss is a spokesperson for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). She says that as the baby-boomer generation ages, more people will be looking for information and legal advice on these issues.
Hugh McLellan practices elder law. He says that when he and his partner started their firm in 1992, they practiced both elder and labor law.
“After a while, we just thought, ‘This is crazy. We don’t need to do labor law, there’s so much work in elder law,'” he says.
McLellan believe elder law will provide opportunities for at least the next 20 years. During this time period, the number of people aged 65 and up is expected to continually increase.
Like other lawyers, elder law attorneys must first attend university. Then they attend law school. Law school is three years of study. Students must then pass the bar exams for their state. After completing this education, they can practice law.
Elder law training is similar to other legal specialties, but those in the field say elder law can provide some unique opportunities.
“Elder law is different from other areas,” Krauss says. She says elder law is not adversarial, in contrast to the perception many people have of law. “Individuals attracted to elder law seem to have that caring and compassionate willingness to go above and beyond for their clients.”
Krauss gives examples of NAELA members holding their clients’ hands in hospital emergency rooms and finding new homes for dogs after the death of clients.
Bogutz says those unique aspects of elder law require a special set of skills.
“Elder law has two components,” he explains. “One involves the specific areas of law that affect older persons, which include things like retirement, pensions, planning for giving your business to your children, planning for possible disability needs, age discrimination, planning for housing as people’s needs change and planning for what’s going to happen at the time of your death.
“The second component of elder law is the lawyer’s knowledge of the specific needs of aging clients. That involves things like dealing with special furniture for people who have difficulty getting up or down — and special furniture might mean nothing more than chairs with arms — making sure that buildings are accessible for people with disabilities, using larger print for documents, being available to provide home visits if necessary. Also being sensitive to the issues that are around changes of life, such as retirement or facing the end of life.”
Bogutz adds that the practice of elder law can also have many benefits. “It’s an extremely rewarding practice, professionally and emotionally,” he says. “I think you learn more from working with older clients, and many of us don’t get to be close to older people too much.”
At the same time, he recognizes the potential emotional downfalls of working with aging — and eventually dying — clients.
“At some point you acknowledge that the end of life is a natural, normal component of life,” he says. “Helping people to address that in a professional way, and making certain that all of their wishes are carried out and end-of-life care is going to be given in the way they prefer, gives you a certain satisfaction as well.
“So it can be frustrating to lose clients, but at the same time you have a sense of accomplishment that you helped them do it their way.”
Bogutz adds that elder law can also show a more positive view of growing old.
“We sometimes make assumptions about older persons that simply aren’t true.A very small percentage have substantial hearing loss. A very small percentage have physical disabilities. A very small percentage go to nursing homes. Many people are healthy, active and vital until the last couple months of their lives.”
Bogutz says that if students are interested in elder law, they can begin by getting involved with older people right away. He adds there are always opportunities to volunteer. “There are retirement homes, nursing home, retirement communities that are looking for people to assist with sometimes just looking in on people, sometimes with delivering meals, sometimes simply providing socialization,” he says.
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Links to services and resources available to older people
National Elder Law Foundation
Certifies experienced elder law attorneys in the U.S.
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
National organization of elder law attorneys