Advice for changing industries?

Hello, all! Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I'm in my late 20s, and have spent the majority of my life working in arts non-profits. I've luckily gotten to work at some amazing institutions and have made wonderful connections - it's a relatively small industry that's heavily based on relationships, so all of my previous roles have come about, in part, thanks to personal references.

As valuable as my experiences have been, I'm interested in similar roles in other industries - specifically, going from doing PR and social media in the arts to PR, marketing, copywriting, or customer success at a tech company or other for-profit business. Does anyone have advice for making an application stand out in a new field?

Our Elpha career coach @stephaniecn might help or otherwise fellow Elpha member @annamiller might have thoughts for you on the piece about standing out!
Fantastic - thank you!
I feel that it comes down a lot to how you frame your transferrable skills – storytelling, basically. How does your experience in the "small world" of arts non-profits make you particularly valuable as part of a team in another industry? What's the unique perspective you have to offer? Why is this industry-change also the next logical step for you? etc.
Great advice - thank you!
Hi @shelleyfarmer, The first part of the transition would involve some career exploration, chatting with people in different roles to get a sense of the work. Then you can create narratives that frame your experiences in language that is relevant to the role you are applying for. For example, in PR, building relationships can be key to success so you take your experience of relationship building and connect them into the context of PR.
Absolutely makes sense - thanks for your insight!
There are certain skills which are more and less similar almost independent of any industry, such as design, marketing, IT or even being a founder. Just try to leverage and gather the tasks related to this new industry, some background research may help you to narrow down the necessary skillset for that new vertical. Good luck with your search!
Excellent point - thank you!
I agree with Micha, it’s all about framing your relevant skills and achievements. It’s begins on your resume and LinkedIn and then in interviews. I suggest figuring out which role in tech you want and then tailoring your resume to that one role/career path. People are pivoting into tech from other industries every day, and the ones who are landing the jobs are telling the best stories. Get clear on the value you bring and the story you want to tell on paper and in interviews. Hope that helps!
That's incredibly helpful - thanks for articulating it so clearly!
Check out and A lot of great resources for shifting into tech or another industry. Also, if you do want to focus on tech, I’d recommend taking the Agile MBA. It’s a free live course that will teach you a lot about how software is built (with his approach is also used in non-software applications but it started there). It will be a great way to pick up jargon. My background is in art as well and I’ve made a big industry shift. I’m happy to have a chat it you’d like. Dm me.
Thank you so much for this advice - shooting you a DM now!
I would suggest starting with clarity of what are your strengths and weaknesses - One thing that might be helpful is to write down what specific skillset (as detailed as possible, drilling it down to specific subset of skills) one needs for your "desired" position, and then mapping it to which of these skills have you developed in previous position/field, and which ones you might still need to develop? (Also, doing SWOT analyses for your desired new career/position might help you get clarity of your advantages and obstacles. )And then thinking about these skills from three perspectives: 1/ SKILL - What knowledge/skills/experiences do I have about each of these, and what do I still need to learn/practice? 2/ STORY - How am I telling the story (explaining to others) what my skills are? On linkedin, in my CV, when I tell my story to others etc? 3/ NETWORK - Who am I telling this story to (and how can I tell it in a more targeted way to an audience that could help me to get me to that new role)? eg who are my linkedin connections and how can i get connections that are closer to that new role, I hope this helps - and good luck in this challenging yet inspiring transition :)
This is incredibly helpful - thank you!
really happy to hear it was valuable - don't hesitate to reach out (or tag me in questions/comments) in case you get stuck and need feedback/ideas ;)
Job searching would require a lot of things that we can discuss regarding overall best practices, but if its a same role-different industry move, it shoudl be a lot easier than you think, with the right approaches being utilized! (ie networking effectively, etc) Some best practices below may help!- Determine what support system you have in place to help you be effective throughout your job search -- Most people feel they have to go it alone and end up guessing where to spend their time versus leveraging a coach, mentor, peer or other tools and resources to be strategic- Most importantly is understanding how/where to spend your time wisely -- its not all about the online apps but networking is a critical component, as well as balancing some time for other key activities in job search (virtual events, thought leadership, research, reflection, etc)- Determine your accountability plan to make sure you're staying on top of your goals & staying organized- Reflect on how things are going on a weekly basis to iterate & improve your approach and thus your outcomes-Be sure not to approach the job in a transactional, check-the-box sort of way -- see networking and interviews as a mirror into the job you would land and an opportunity for two-way assessment of fit- Consider how many roles/industries you're applying to-- this may be a sign that you'd want to take a step back and pursue career exploration to clarify your ideal fit direction; career clarity will help make your search more efficient, targeted, and effective- Don't ignore your self care to ensure your mindset is staying resilient during your searchBTW, I'm Rachel, a Career Exploration Coach (, and I'm happy to chat further if you'd like! (I offer a free career coaching call here --