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On this page: Beverly Harvey offers a method for analyzing and choosing your next industry.

Changing Industries - Which Industry Is Right for You?

Whether you're a one-industry career veteran whose industry recently succumbed to economic conditions or an executive who is yearning for a change, due diligence can be the linchpin to a successful transition.

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In our current economic environment where companies are trimming staff and budgets to survive, it's imperative that executive candidates have a comprehensive understanding of the industry they would like to transition into and be able to articulate the value they bring to an organization in that industry.

Likewise, if you've been considering a particular industry because it appears appealing from your outside perspective, this exercise in due diligence will be of tremendous value.

Often times job seekers have a romantic notion about a particular industry that is completely unfounded. They may accept a position in that industry and then find themselves blindsided with all types of issues they had never considered and now they're contemplating another transition.

Proper due diligence could have avoided this hiccup in their career.

Due Diligence Essentials

Conduct an inventory of the value you bring to the table.

List your:

List your requirements regarding:

Determine your preferences for company characteristics:

Once you have a clear idea of what types of companies you would like to work for, you can begin your search for an industry.

I suggest creating a decision-making spreadsheet where you can set up all of your requirements in columns. Then as you begin your industry research, you can add rows for each industry you research and note how well each industry aligns with your requirements.

This will allow you to distinguish what industries best align with your criteria. You can also use this spreadsheet decision-making tool to do an analysis of how well specific companies you identify within the industry meet your requirements.

Following are a few resources you can use to research and identify specific industries:

Once you've decided on one or two industries, ask yourself:

With proper due diligence and a little bit of homework, you'll be able to change industries smoothly and with a minimum of unpleasant surprises.


About this author...

Beverly Harvey has been coaching senior-level and C-level executives in job search, career transition and career management for over 17 years. She has helped thousands of executives land their next position quickly. Beverly is the founder of HarveyCareers.com and holds eight certifications in resume writing, branding, job search, career transition and career management. She is a resume expert for six executive job boards; contributor to more than 20 career books. She can be reached at 386-749-3111 or 888-775-0916.