Topic: General Posts

Subject: Changing Industries
Kevin Kelly
Member: 2012
Submitted on 10-18-12 2:45 pm
I have been in a Controller/CFO in Financial Services for over 20 years primarily in the Foreign Exchange market. There aren't many positions at my level in financial services, and my current firm is closing US ops on 10/31. To be honest, I have found alot of opportunities that I am spot on qualified for, and can do with my eyes closed, but, they are in other industries, Pharma, Healthcare, media, etc. I can't even get an interview because I lack "industry experience". Does anyone have any insight how to get around this hurdle?
Debra Feldman
Member: 2006
Posts: 3

Subject: Re:Changing Industries

Submitted on 10-18-12 11:20 pm.

Your challenge is to prove to these "new" employers that you can do their job and that your experience actually will benefit them. Also, the only way to penetrate a new industry is through a personal referral, forget applying online or submitting a resume. You need a human connection who will champion you and get you airtime with the hiring decision maker. In short, you have to promote your strengths, show you are qualified and put the employer's concerns to risk. They must believe you can do the job expertly and not have a learning curve or be a liability. Your competition is someone as skilled and knowledgeable who has that 20yrs in their industry.You might want to look at your knowledge base and target employers in an industry sector that has similar challenges, regulatory environment, customer base, etc. The main idea is to draw parallels between where you have been and where you want to go next.

Debra Feldman,, Executive Talent Agent
Dave Goldin
Member: 2003
Posts: 31

Subject: Re:Changing Industries

Submitted on 10-21-12 5:07 pm.
Kevin, there are certain industries willing to look at those with outside experience while others are not as inclusive. Pharma and healthcare are notorious for insisting on industry knowledge. (Sidenote: I am doing a consulting project with BCBS to get some credentials in that area).

Manufacturing can also be difficult because some positions require cost accounting skills, although at the corporate level that might be a moot point. If I were you, I would look at service industries as this would perhaps be the place where you can best parallel your skills.