I often joke with my husband – an author of three Civil War books – that we could do a joint book tour. The target audience? People who want to find a job in a Civil War association. While it IS a joke (the size of the audience wouldn’t be enough to warrant a tour!), it’s a good illustration of how people can brainstorm target companies and new career options. While there are countless aspects that can and should be considered when making a career move (values, salary, geographic location, advancement opportunities, etc.), mixing and matching potential job functions and industries can provide you with a good foundation for exploring possibilities.
Let’s assume you’re a marketing manager, and want to stay in a similar functional area. You currently work for a trade association for financial professionals, and it’s not an industry that you’re excited about. You do, however, love movies and travel. Going on this alone, a brainstorming exercise might look like this:
POSSIBLE FUNCTIONAL AREAS/TITLES: Marketing Manager, Marketing Director
POSSIBLE SECTORS: Association, Non-Profit, Corporate, Government
POSSIBLE INDUSTRIES: Film (could branch out to include other forms of entertainment, such as television), Tourism (could encompass hospitality).
Now, mix and match! At this point, you’re only brainstorming, so nothing is off-limits. Using the possible industries as a starting point, some career options could include:
FILM: Marketing Manager or Director for the Motion Picture Association of America, AMC Theatres, or Universal Studios.
TOURISM: Marketing Manager or Director for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), American Embassy in Switzerland or Marriott Hotels.
This is a VERY brief list for example purposes only – I’ve seen people come up with as many as 100 options! Of course, you can (and should!) cut down later using other criteria. The point now is to get a working list of options. You’re only limited by your imagination!