Unless you’re at the top of the food chain, working in the service industry is a grind. The hours are weird, the pay is all over the place, the shifts are unsteady, and the long-term path is unclear.
It can be fun and fulfilling if you find the right opportunity, but for most it’s a stop-gap measure to ensure that ends continue to meet. There are avenues you can take to find a different job, you just have to be organized, creative, and maybe a little lucky.
Here’s 5 steps to getting out of the service industry.
Evaluate Where You’re At
If you want to find another job, you have to be able to communicate what you can offer employers in other industries. This seems pretty simple, but a lot of service workers find themselves asking, what do I even have to offer?
The short answer is, probably a lot.
If you have any type of degree or certification, that might be enough to get your foot in the door for an interview. If you’ve had managing experience or worked with administration and scheduling, that’s even better. Customer service is another obvious one.
You just have to parse these skills so they are relevant to other industries on your resume.
Think About What You Want
This is simple. In order to find out where you want to go in the short-term, you have to consider the path to your long-term goals.
Are your career goes monetary? Do you want to work in a specific industry? Do you want to live in a particular place?
Answer these questions. They will put you in the ballpark of a prospective career. Then you just need to narrow your options.
Schedule Time To Work On Your Career
Preparing for a career transition is a job in and of itself.
For example, if a job you’re interested in requires mastery of Microsoft Excel, make some time in your schedule and learn it independently.
Setting aside time to tweak your resume or work on job skills is key to actually being ready when you enter an interview.
Begin the Search and Apply
There are so many ways to find a job now. You can search social media outlets, like Linkedin. You can search job sites. You can ask friends or colleagues for recommendations. You can find temp opportunities. You can do independent outreach to companies.
What you can’t do is nothing. No one has jobs land on their laps. This is about initiative.
Rejection in any job search is normal, but it’s especially hard to transition from a separate industry. You have to keep this in perspective and keep pushing forward.
If you stay motivation, you will find the right opportunity.
Susan Ranford is a blogger and the community outreach manager for NewYorkJobs.com. She is interested in business, personal finance, the U.S. job market, and anything data-driven. When she’s not digging through the internet, you can find her reading, hiking, or playing with her dog.