Considering An Industry Change?

iStock_000012260427XSmallWhether you’re a one-industry career veteran whose industry recently succumbed to unfavorable economic conditions, or an executive who wants to or needs to change industries, there is a great deal of due diligence required for a successful transition. In our current economic environment where most employers are unwilling to take chances, executive candidates must have a thorough understanding of the industry they are pursuing and be able to articulate the value they bring to an organization.

If you’re in this situation, it’s best at this stage to inventory your qualifications, examine your company preferences, and research industries.

To begin, create a list of personal preferences including:

  • Values, interests, and aspirations
  • Innate talents, greatest strengths, and core competencies
  • Preferences regarding corporate culture and values

Next, evaluate your company preferences:

  • Company size – small-, mid-, large-cap
  • Structure – public, private, non-profit
  • Source of funding – VC, PE
  • Growth model – organic or growth by acquisition
  • Footprint – local, national, international, global
  • Type of organization – traditional, pioneer, hyper growth, etc.
  • Governance – board, regulatory bodies
  • Leadership style – hierarchy, flat
  • Reputation
  • Executive turnover rate and reasons

Then, research and identify industries in which you have an interest using these sites:

  • NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes: http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html.
  • NYSE Euronext: http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lc_all_industry.html. The Industry Classification Benchmark* (ICB) — which comprises 10 industries, 18 supersectors, 40 sectors and 114 subsectors — provides accurate and globally accepted industry and sector classifications.
  • Polson Enterprises: http://www.virtualpet.com/industry/. This site provides an online step-by-step process for researching industries and companies with links to thousands of resources.
  • Hoover’s Online, http://www.hoovers.com – Site has an Industry Master List with drill down capability to industry trends, industry snapshots, major companies in the industry, associations, organizations, publications, press releases, glossaries, and more.

Completing these steps will lay the groundwork for a comparison between the industry or industries in which you have worked and the similarities or lack thereof with other industries. This will help you identify your transferable qualifications and the value you bring to another industry table.

With proper due diligence, executives are able to change industries smoothly. You simply need to identify key industry characteristics and aggressively pursue the transition to achieve the success you desire when landing an executive position at a new company or in a new industry.

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Beverly Harvey, an executive career coach and job search strategist for senior-level and C-level executives, is passionate about identifying her clients’ unique talents, crystallizing their brand, articulating their value proposition, and creating dynamic marketing materials and job search strategies to achieve a successful landing. Beverly is the author of the book "Landing An Executive Position" and has contributed to 23 career books. In business since 1991 ... and on the web since 1998, Beverly has worked with executives from global Fortune 500 corporations, small- and medium-size enterprises, privately held companies, family owned businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Certifications include: * Credentialed Career Manager * Certified Career Management Coach * Certified Job & Career Transition Coach * Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist * Reach Certified Social Branding Analyst * Certified 360Reach Analyst * Certified Executive & Leadership Development Coach * Certified Job Search Strategist * Certified Social Media Career Strategist * Certified On-line Identity Manager * Master Resume Writer * Certified Professional Resume Writer Beverly completed Coach training through The Academies and the Career Planning and Adult Development Network. She studied personal branding under the international personal branding guru, William Arruda. Beverly is the Director of Job Search Academy and Instructor for the Certified Job Search Strategist training program for career coaches.

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