Q: I am an IT professional with 12 years’ experience and would like a career change into the automotive industry (non-IT related, ideally). How can I make the transition into this industry with no direct motoring experience or qualifications?
A: It is important to identify your motives behind making the move. A career change with no direct skills or experience in your chosen profession is not an easy task so establish if it’s based on a genuine desire to work in the automotive industry and not just career lethargy. You can begin researching opportunities in the sector and deciding the type of role you want to achieve.
The Institute of the Motor Industry (www.motor.org.uk) is a good source of information on potential employers and offers a range of motor industry qualifications. The motoring shows and events also provide good networking opportunities, so try to speak to as many people on these. When you have researched the options, look at your own career experience and see what transferable skills you might have.
You may lack practical experience, but 12 years in the IT sector will very likely have given you experience in managing new projects or handling large quantities of information.
These skills can be translated into a new context, such as organising a project to manage a new fleet of cars.
Director, marketing and corporate affairs, Chartered Management Institute.