Career Advice: Should I Make a Career Switch to a Different Industry?

Career Advice: Should I Make a Career Switch to a Different Industry?

Career Advice: Should I Make a Career Switch to a Different Industry?

Perhaps your growth in your current domain is plateauing. Or maybe you face the unsettling reality of an industry-wide retrenchment, which drives you to consider changing to a role within the same function in a new sector. Whether you’ve only spent a few years in your present industry or are an experienced mid-career switcher, a career pivot can be daunting, leaving you wondering if it is the right decision.

Indeed, changing careers to a different industry is not devoid of its trade-offs. However, given that risk and opportunity are two sides of the same coin, whether the choice works for you depends on the weightage you assign to its benefits and downsides.


Benefits of a Career Change in the Same Industry

When we consider the merits of making a career switch within the same sector, several advantages come to light.


1. Reduced Financial Trade-Offs

A key benefit is reduced financial trade-offs. This is because a career pivot to a new domain may require you to invest money in acquiring new skills or certifications to get up to speed with your work. At the same time, your earning potential may also decrease in the short term.

Advice: If you’re juggling heavy responsibilities, such as supporting dependents and managing mortgage payments, or do not have sufficient savings as a financial cushion, staying within the same industry may be more prudent for the time being.

However, if financial constraints are less of a concern, changing careers to a new sector can be a viable path, and there are relatively affordable ways to gain the skills you need. For instance, Singaporeans aged 40 and above can leverage the S$4,000 of SkillsFuture’s mid-career credits to offset the fees for various upskilling or reskilling modules and Institutions of Higher Learning full qualifications. Otherwise, enrolling in a boot camp also offers an excellent way to keep cost factors in control while reducing the time you need to obtain your qualifications, killing two birds with one stone.


2. A Smoother Transition

Switching careers within the same or similar industries also often comes with a smaller skills gap to overcome and allows you to tap into your existing industry connections to facilitate a smoother transition.

Advice: That said, you can still bridge this gap when pivoting to a new sector by seeking support from experienced professionals like headhunters in Singapore. With rich connections and an understanding of what employers value, executive search recruiters can help you better position yourself in the job market and improve your access to career opportunities.


Benefits of a Career Pivot to a New Industry

If you’re more inclined towards venturing into a new field, one major advantage is its potential long-term returns.


1. Potentially Better Long-Term Prospects

By staying in one industry, we assume that our chosen path is sustainable in the long run. However, this may not always be the case. A case in point is how AI has already demonstrated the potential to disrupt jobs and drive significant changes in sectors, affecting even traditionally high-skill positions and promising domains. If you’re currently in a sunset industry or a role at risk of obsolescence, making a mid-career switch to a new industry can be a wise choice to enhance your career prospects in the long run.


2. Reinvigoration of Your Career

Another benefit of a career pivot to a new sector is its ability to better support your professional development. By changing industries, you can expose yourself to new challenges that create room for further growth while rekindling your passion, paving the way for a more fulfilling career. This is especially true if your new sector better aligns with your innate abilities, allowing you to harness your strengths to your professional advantage.


Other Advice for a Successful Career Switch

career switch help from headhunters in singapore

1. How Ready Are You for the New Industry?

However, given that opportunities to return to your previous industry may be limited should you wish to backtrack, we suggest conducting thorough research before changing careers to a new industry. For starters, consider if you are equipped to handle the pace and demands of your desired sector and understand your actual reasons for considering this career switch. Doing so clarifies whether a career pivot is what you truly require to address your underlying needs. More importantly, always devise backup plans in advance so you are prepared should the transition unfold differently than expected. 

Besides this, seeking advice from headhunters can be a good way to guide your decision. This is because executive search firms, such as JC Consulting, have operations in key business hubs like Singapore and China, which keeps our consultants well-informed of market developments across APAC. As such, working with these professionals enables you to gain insights that support a more holistic evaluation of your situation, allowing you to make an informed decision that better mitigates potential risks.


2. Highlight Transferable Skills

If you’ve decided to switch careers to a new industry, a challenge you may face is the lack of direct experience to showcase in your resume. Our advice for overcoming this hurdle is highlighting how your existing skills can be applied to new contexts. After all, many competencies, such as people and account management, are transferable across sectors, albeit with adjustments. By drawing parallels between your past roles and potential contributions to the new industry, you can help bridge the perceived gap in experience. 

In fact, our life sciences recruitment consultants have seen professionals successfully pivoting their careers from tech to biopharmacy. Similarly, our retail recruitment consultants have seen talent from legacy industries successfully integrate into the e-commerce field.


3. Be Patient and Open to Learn

When you’ve made the jump, it’s also common to encounter a steep learning curve and possibly progress slower than anticipated. In such scenarios, always remind yourself to keep an open mind.

A common pitfall in career switchers is transferring strategies from one industry to another without adapting when a tailored approach is needed to cater to the distinct differences between sectors. By being open to unlearning and learning again, you allow yourself the chance to truly understand and fit into your new domain.

Above all, do not be disheartened; more often than not, we’re in for a marathon rather than a sprint. A case in point is the stories of Thomas Edison and Stephen King. Edison had experienced over a thousand failures before his breakthrough invention of the electric light bulb. Likewise, Stephen King faced rejection from 30 publishers for his first novel, “Carrie,” to the point where he once discarded his manuscript. However, King’s perseverance eventually led him to become one of the world’s bestselling authors, with “Carrie” achieving iconic status.

By entering your new sector with the right mindset and preparation, building a fulfilling career is entirely possible. If you’re looking for new possibilities but are unsure where to start, connect with our consultants today, and let us support you in your journey towards a successful career change.



In summary, there are advantages to staying within one’s current industry and changing to a new one. By switching careers within your current field, you enjoy a smoother transition and reduced financial trade-offs. Meanwhile, the exciting aspect of venturing into new sectors is career rejuvenation and the potential to unlock better long-term prospects. A critical piece of advice for professionals considering such a career move is to carefully evaluate your financial health and readiness for the demands of the new industry. And as you look for suitable opportunities, be patient, stay prepared with backup plans, and maintain an openness to learn.