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How to Switch To A Completely Different Industry (Management to Video Production)

June 3rd, 2013

I got a great email from someone… their email is in bold and my response is in not-bold:

I’ve been in ________ Management for several years and that’s what’s on my resume, but it would be nice to turn my hobby and first love of video production, editing, and graphic arts into a source of income. 

Cool… big transition!  It’s good to know what you want to do and pursue it, if it can support your lifestyle.

Problem is, NOBODY will simply hire me to do this without a competitive resume with years of experience. 

I think the video production, editing and graphics arts are specialized enough that I might hire three different people to do each of those.  I’m not sure a “resume” is going to get you the gig, because you have to get into the right interview first.  Regarding “years of experience,” above you say this is your passion and first love, so I wonder what other projects you’ve done.  Maybe no commercial projects but if you have done projects that might be all I need to take a gamble on you…

I wonder if you focus on one or two of the three things you list, instead of all three.  For example, bring a graphics artist in to complement you.  If you network enough and well with those specialists, maybe they will bring YOU in on video projects…?

Replacing your last job is hard enough, but changing careers requiring a whole set of skills (which you may have sans the experience part) is nearly impossible.  

We talked about this on my Dick Bolles Ask The Expert call.  It is definitely not easy but you can do it.  How do you position yourself?  Generally, my simple thoughts are to figure out and talk about your “transferable skills.”  You’ll probably have to pull from your off-time for graphics and video products you’ve done.  BUT, what if you pull together some contractors you can tap into and then focus on the product/project management of the project, as well as sales and marketing?  Get some great commercial projects under your belt and that should lead to more.

Again, watch Dick’s interview. I don’t remember when we talked about this but his response blew me away.

The ONLY option that I can foresee is to go independent and adopt a very aggressive marketing and networking campaign to drum up business.  

The “very aggressive marketing and networking campaign” you would do to drum up business is virtually the same you should do in a job search.

In my job search, seven years ago, I had to make a decision.  Do I spend time working towards “a job,” which someone might take away again, or do I spend time working towards long-term financial independence, which do I do?  I chose to shift gears, work as hard as I was on my job search, and took a gamble.

For you, what I would recommend is to build up a portfolio of projects.  Make some up for yourself, or beg and convince friends at businesses to do things for them.  As your portfolio grows it will be easier to have people know and think about and choose you for their projects.

My personal proof was here, in this post from 2006: Substantiate Yourself

2 Comments »

2 responses to “How to Switch To A Completely Different Industry (Management to Video Production)”

  1. Valerie says:

    And to backup everything you already told him/her, they should create their own YouTube site with examples of their work.

    Just my .02

  2. David Harrison says:

    This really differs based on what the work actually is, but on the CV you could include a URL to an online portfolio.

    Don’t forget that LinkedIn will also allow for inclusion of specific set projects that you can talk about so it’s all in one place.