This is a story about an experienced recruiter, me, who decided to completely shift out of one industry and into another. And if you are thinking to do similarly, or even just thinking to join the industry, maybe my experience can help.
For those of you with a few years in the recruitment game, think back to when you first jumped into the industry. How did you choose your first company and position? Were you introduced by a friend or acquaintance? Attracted by the commission system? Impressed by the leadership of the business and those interviewing you? Or did the company simply have a sweet office and a foosball table?
How about the market that you were assigned to recruit in? Was it something you knew deeply and cared about?
Surprisingly, very few recruiters cite the industry sector they originally entered as the primary reason for getting into recruitment or joining their company. Especially with larger firms, new entrants are assigned primarily based upon the market needs of the company at that moment in time.
My story: a good friend of mine got me into recruitment in 2013. He worked in the healthcare sector, an industry that I hadn`t the faintest idea about at the time. I joined him. Like any rookie recruiter driven by a desire to succeed, I deep dove into market, learned as much as I could from my colleagues, my candidates, and my clients — and after some time I began to really understand the business.
Outside of work, I’m a big outdoor guy. I spend most weekends on mountains and trails, and I run competitive ultra-marathons in the Himalayas, Alps etc. These experiences made me acutely aware of climate change and environmental issues – to me, this became the problem I wanted to contribute to solving.
Fast-forward to now. My company backed my request to venture into this space, which is new both for the company and for me. I now lead a team across Tokyo and Manila focused on Renewable Energy and Clean Technology — and I`m loving it.
So, have you ever felt an urge to recruit in a different space, one you are more passionate about? Thinking outside of recruitment and work – what excites you or makes you curious? Is it cutting edge tech or sports? Fashion? Cars? How about issues such as healthcare or the climate crisis? If you do want to make a change of sector focus, here are some things to consider:
If you are just about to enter recruitment, you are very likely starting from zero (unless you have prior industry experience). And if, similar to me, you are thinking to transition “mid-career” into another sector you`re also starting from zero. So here are some more points to bear in mind before making the switch:
Whatever it is you believe in and whoever you are – the more aligned your business is with what you`re actually passionate about, the happier, more focused, and ultimately more successful you will be. Best of luck!
Much thanks to Andrew Statter for this guest contribution — hope you liked it. (And if you did, we have more — so don`t forget to Follow Us on LinkedIn. Thanks in advance!)