Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to refocus my career towards a whole new opportunity. Following my four years in the aerospace industry, I am currently in Germany where I am Senior Project Manager at the adidas headquarters. To find oneself in a new environment necessarily requires an effort of adaptation, which can sometimes be overwhelming. Although I am still in a product development context, my transition to the sports equipment industry had to be planned before I could get this new position. This text presents five tips that I hope will help you manage your transition successfully.
Step 1: Listen to your passions
You are currently looking for a new job and for whatever reason you are seeing the possibility of changing industry. So, why not take advantage of it to join one with which you have deep affinities? In order to facilitate a smooth transition, it is your duty to question you about what is driving you personally. Combining work and passion will make your extra efforts (to adapt to the company or to deliver a project) even pleasant. So take advantage of this era of change to identify your passions and transpose them into your professional life.
Step 2: Find the opportunities
Your project management training allows you to take part in great achievements and make a difference within your company. In conducting my research on adidas Group's organizational health, I realized that the company was preparing to unveil its new five-year strategic plan. The restructuring had taken place before this important strategic milestone and the company was ready to launch its new vision and cascade its many projects. This represents a range of golden opportunities for a project manager!
Step 3: Do your homework
The organizational mechanisms that will enable you to manage projects with ease are for the time being unknown and this can be dizzying. In order to fill this gap, I offer you this valuable advice which is unfortunately too often botched: do your homework! Know the facts of the industry, read the company's annual reports and those of the competitors. This information is easy to find, if you bother to look for a bit. If you are taking a course at this time, do a team work on the company in question. Through your research, you will have a better understanding of the industry and the elements that make up its business ecosystem.
Step 4: Leverage your experience
Believe it or not, the famous maxim of Arthur Lavoisier can also apply to your professional experience. Whether in the field of health or to develop video games, project management remains the project management. As a whole, we have all received the same training. Yet we find ourselves today in industries that differ in every respect. Work experience can be multi-dimensional and your field of expertise is fully transferable. It is up to you to highlight the common elements (eg product development, multinational company, multidisciplinary teams, matrix structure). In your resume, focus on the tasks rather than the project context. An employer will want to know if you know how to manage projects, regardless of your home industry.
Step 5: Re-do your homework
Your preparation was successful and you got your new job. Congratulations! However, tell yourself that the work is just beginning. Everything you have read about the company and its external environment remains theoretical. Now that you are in the business, you should now check this information. If understanding the external environment of a company has allowed you to get this job, mastering the internal environment will allow you to navigate with ease in order to carry out your projects.
Discussing the organizational structure, governance processes and business strategy with members of various roles will help you gain a holistic understanding of the business. Get closer to your stakeholders and permeate their knowledge.
At the end of this text, I hope that I have succeeded in communicating to you some tricks that will facilitate your transition in a new industry. Looking forward to a new article, I wish you success in your new work environment.