is it possible to change industries?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Milpool, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. medtech_expat

    medtech_expat Senior member

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    This is the exact problem I have with interviewers. They either don't believe I want out or don't believe I'm capable of doing something else.

    Why is that so hard to believe?


    Changing industries is definitely possible, all the more so if they're somewhat related and/or complementary. I've gone from information technology to medical devices to pharma devices & diagnostics. As with most things in life, you need a proper narrative so that your prospective employer actually perceives your previous experience as making you uniquely valuable.

    On a related note, simultaneously changing your functional role in a different industry is more difficult, while doing both and changing geographies is harder yet. A person's likelihood to excel in the new role is typically inversely proportional to the degrees of separation away from his/her core competencies (although the rewards may make the risks worthwhile). YMMV.
     
  2. Milpool

    Milpool Senior member

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    Please make your case as articulately as you can to us here. Wanting to change is nice, but there has to be a more compelling reason.

    I wanted to be a statistics code monkey for pharma/clinical trials type stuff. I made one very incredibly stupid mistake when I was young: I applied for, was offered and accepted an internship on the device side and this is where I've been stuck for the rest of my life. It turns out I don't like what I do, nor do I like the industry.
     
  3. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Try that again without using that many negatives or the verb "stuck"
     
  4. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I wanted to be a statistics code monkey for pharma/clinical trials type stuff. I made one very incredibly stupid mistake when I was young: I applied for, was offered and accepted an internship on the device side and this is where I've been stuck for the rest of my life. It turns out I don't like what I do, nor do I like the industry.

    oh, yeah, you are screwed. sorry. do you have any fun hobbies?
     
  5. Milpool

    Milpool Senior member

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    Try that again without using that many negatives or the verb "stuck"

    I'm a statistician by training. Against my better judgment I took an internship in med device. I'm quite handy with electronics and optics, so I am on the physics side as I'm not an engineer. I've tried several times in my career to switch over to statistics in various industries, but no one seems to believe I can make the switch.
     
  6. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Changing industries is definately possible. Changing job functions might be harder.

    Perfectly stated.
     
  7. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    This still sounds quite negative and does not make you an attractive candidate. If you want to pitch yourself for a different job, you need to articulate (a) that you've had a good experience where you are now, acquired a number of useful skills (relevant to this new job) and that you're ready for a different challenge, (b) what attracts you about that other job (do you have friends, acquaintances that have that job, do you understand it well), (c) why you are qualified for it (beyond academic background), (d) that you're committed to change path (not that you're kicking tire and checking if there's a chance you may change course), and (e) why you're a good fit for the particular position/company/group you're talking to.
     
  8. Milpool

    Milpool Senior member

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    I'm not negative, I'm disgruntled and bitter.
     
  9. Hombre Secreto

    Hombre Secreto Senior member

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    Of course it's possible to change industries, but goddamn having start from scratch again... must be a pain in the ass.

    You mentioned medical, so I would look for something in that field. Good luck.
     
  10. DerekS

    DerekS Guyliner

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    the possibility depends entirely upon youre skills. if youre a jackoff, no...youre lucky to even have a job.
     
  11. Milpool

    Milpool Senior member

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    This still sounds quite negative and does not make you an attractive candidate. If you want to pitch yourself for a different job, you need to articulate (a) that you've had a good experience where you are now, acquired a number of useful skills (relevant to this new job) and that you're ready for a different challenge, (b) what attracts you about that other job (do you have friends, acquaintances that have that job, do you understand it well), (c) why you are qualified for it (beyond academic background), (d) that you're committed to change path (not that you're kicking tire and checking if there's a chance you may change course), and (e) why you're a good fit for the particular position/company/group you're talking to.

    As much as I enjoy spectrum analysis, FFT, Monte Carlo, etc for med devices, my real passion lies in statistics. There is something so fascinating about a k-means cluster analysis or a well designed randomized experiment.

    I have come to realize that I truly miss statistics and would like to make the transition back to a career as a statistician.
     
  12. clee1982

    clee1982 Senior member

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    As much as I enjoy spectrum analysis, FFT, Monte Carlo, etc for med devices, my real passion lies in statistics. There is something so fascinating about a k-means cluster analysis or a well designed randomized experiment.

    I have come to realize that I truly miss statistics and would like to make the transition back to a career as a statistician.


    Are you phd, master or undergard?
     
  13. Milpool

    Milpool Senior member

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    Are you phd, master or undergard?

    bs, mba
     
  14. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    How old are you? (I know, there's anti-discrimination laws).
     
  15. medtech_expat

    medtech_expat Senior member

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    Not to state the obvious, but have you already reached out to other device companies in order to move into clinicals? This is one of the functional areas which always seemed to be hiring at my companies - through RIFs, headcount freezes, etc.

    If you haven't already done so, I strongly suggest to first nail down your "story," using gdl's points as a guideline.
     

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