How Do I Transition from Consulting to Industry?
As the economy continues to strengthen, many Consultants are contemplating a move to Industry positions, but are unsure of how to successfully make the move. Transitioning from Consulting to Industry can be difficult, especially if you’ve been out of the 9-5 environment for a while. BUT, successfully making the move from Consulting to Industry is definitely possible! And following these 4 basic guidelines will set you up for success; positioning you ahead of the competition, and significantly increasing your chances of landing that industry job.
Many employers, particularly in medical device, prefer to hire candidates who have direct industry experience and can demonstrate that they “get it.” In a highly specialized and tech-heavy field like medical device, embellishing your experience and industry knowledge on your resume isn’t something you can fake. When interviewing, make sure to indicate that you’ve previously been involved with medical devices. Even better, clearly explain if you have experience with the specific type of products manufactured by the company you’re targeting. For example, if you were among the pioneers for a technology provider in the robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery domain, but switched after a few years to work with a global consultant in their medical technology divisions. You could easily leverage your early industry years, and complement it with the sophistication you imbibed during your consultancy years.
Use Your Current Clients
One of your best resources at landing an industry job is with people you already work for. Be visible in your consulting role at your client companies by working on-site as much as possible, attend company meetings, and proactively engage with key decision makers. Strategically positioning yourself in this manner will ensure company insiders and executives feel as though you’re already part of the team. Additionally, inquire if the company authorizes internal email addresses to be given to on-site vendors as most companies have internal job postings that will inform you of any open positions. Don’t hesitate, once you have established relationships, start asking (with discretion) about any relevant vacancies. Your proven track record with your existing clients will offer you an advantage over outside candidates. Differing, if interviewing for a position within an outside firm, be sure to emphasize your book of business that you can bring with you; your network is a great asset and also displays your ability to maintain long-term business relationships.
Many industry employers shy away from hiring Consultants because of the impression that they maintain limited working knowledge of the company’s specific technologies. If you do not list the technologies you’ve worked with previous on your resume, your potential employer will never know, and therefore will never afford you the opportunity to share your experiences either. When writing your resume, be sure to be as specific as you can without violating confidentiality agreements. Also, indicate the size of the portfolio you managed while consulting, such as: the size of the companies you worked with, or the volume of t projects you were involved in.
Lastly, Emphasize Your Foundation-Building Abilities
A common concern when hiring Consultants to Industry positions is that they lack experience in start to finish products, or handholding projects from inception to logical conclusion. In consulting, some internal work has been done before you arrive, but in an industry position, the responsibility is from start to finish. Emphasize your ability to build a project from the ground up in your interviews as to put your future employer’s mind at ease.
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