Creative Career Level Up

‘I took the first job I could get. Now I'm stuck in an industry I hate!’

May 16, 2024
Photo by Keenan Beasley on Unsplash

Today I’m analysing the situation of a 29-year-old man from London. Let’s call him Sam.

Sam is approaching 30 and has started to get the anxiety we all get when approaching a big birthday. 

He reached out to me to get some advice on his career as he feels stuck and unhappy. Sam wants to change his career to something he would actually love but feels he's left it too late.

What’s the challenge?

Sam is stuck in an industry he hates. He loves marketing. But not in this industry.

He wants to change industries but with 6 years experience in one industry, he feels pigeon holed. 

Recruiters tell him he won’t be able to change industries as he is too far into his career.

How did he get here?

Sam made that classic mistake so many people make. He finished university and felt the pressure to get his first job. 

Unfortunately he struggled in the job market  - graduate jobs are some of the hardest to secure! - and ended up taking a job that was very far from what he actually wanted.

He told himself that he would just take this first job and then go after what he really wanted with his next job. But he was approached by a recruiter on Linkedin and offered more money to stay in the same industry.

6 years later, he is still here, despite absolutely hating the industry.

My thoughts

Sam has to make the move NOW. I can see why he is getting pigeon-holed. It’s hard to change industries when everyone sees you as ‘that industry’ guy.

So the first thing is, he has to throw everything into securing the next role. Do not wait any longer. It only gets harder.

Step 1 

The first step is to identify the industries he wants to work in. 

Once he has 3-4 industries, he needs to throw all his effort into learning how they do marketing in those industries. Speak to as many people in those industries as he can. Become an expert.

Marketing is not rocket science. The principles are the same across industries. But every industry has nuances and you need to learn what they are and how to speak the language. 

When you are trying to change industries, you want to give the hiring manager all the confidence that you know what you are talking about.

Step 2

You have to know how to build a bridge between the two industries. What experience translates over? If you are explaining your transferable skills, how do you do it in a way that the new industry understands?

You also want to work out how you will position yourself away from other candidates. You can't go head to head with someone who has 6 years experience in the industry. So you have to convince them that they don’t want to hire that person. You need to convince them that your LACK of experience in the industry is what makes you a great hire! 

The final thing…

Your application absolutely must go directly into the hands of the Hiring Manager. If you are applying online and hoping that your application will get through recruiters or the algorithm, you will be disappointed. Computers hate applications that don’t tick every box, so you need to get your application in front of a human being.

Are you trying to change industries? Would you like help making the move? If so, the Creative Career Level Up programme might be the right fit for you.

Check out more details, including testimonials, on our website here

Or use the link below to schedule a chat about whether the programme is right for you.


—— To your next perfect role (whatever it may be!)


I help people in the Marketing and Creative and Tech Industries to find their next perfect role. 

If you are looking to level-up your career, use the link below to schedule some time to chat about whether the programme might be right for you.