When Is the Right Time to Change Recruitment Sectors?

March 14, 2022
Francesca Batt Head of New York

Let’s be honest: plenty of recruiters are a little sick of the industry they recruit for.

They’ve been doing it for a while, and it’s all starting to feel like Groundhog day.

But does that really mean changing sectors will fix things?

Because sure – it might end up being the best thing you ever did for your career.

You get a new lease of life, and meet all sorts of new people.

But whenever people ask me whether they should take the plunge, I’m always a little hesitant to respond.

Starting from scratch can be tough

The truth is, changing sectors isn’t easy.

After building your network and developing sector-specific skills, it can be very painful to realise that a lot of that stuff doesn’t transfer to a new environment.

You’re essentially starting from scratch.

And while that can be exciting and rewarding, I’d be lying if I said it was only those things.

Because it’s also challenging and frustrating and often overwhelming.

It takes time to build a network – let alone legitimate industry authority.

And while talent generally wins out, there is no guarantee you’ll reach the same level of success that you’ve enjoyed this far.

So what could make all of that worth it?

This is what I always tell people:

The best reason to transition is you are actively excited about the new sector.

Sometimes people do change sectors just because they’re bored with their current work.

And that’s totally fair.

There’s no point sticking with an industry you’ve grown tired of, and you’ll probably feel better for the change – almost like getting a haircut.

But the people I’ve seen really thrive have always been driven by a genuine passion.

You’re going to have to spend a lot of time learning about how it works and building a new network.

It’s going to be even longer hours than you’re used to, and you’ll probably face some setbacks along the way.

So to really succeed, you have to want to put in that time.

You have to embrace the challenge – to see it as part of the fun.

And you have to truly believe that the transition is going to help you build a more exciting life – not just take you away from a dull one.

There is no “right time” to transition

The problem with the question “when should I transition?” is it assumes there is a correct moment to take the leap.

It’s easy to think if you just pick the perfect moment, the transition will be seamless.

In reality though, there are always great reasons to transition – and great reasons not to.

From the life sciences and renewable energy to finance and AI, there are all sorts of fascinating fields that recruiters can explore in 2022.

But just because these areas are growing, doesn’t mean working in them will help you grow.

So really, the question shouldn’t be: “is it the right time to change sectors?”

It should be: “Is there a sector I’d rather work in?”