Thanks to a renewed focus on ventilation, air conditioning and indoor air quality in response to the pandemic – plus the current innovation and investment in heating following the government’s green plan announcement - HVAC is a growing sector. If you’re looking to use your skills in a new industry, a switch to a career in HVAC could be an excellent move.
As specialists in HVAC recruitment with over 20 years’ experience in our sector, we’ve put together some tips to help you successfully change careers.
What do you like about your current job?
Start by focusing on the positive. What elements of your current role do you enjoy and why are you suited to it? There might be lots of reasons why you don’t enjoy it but think about your strengths at work and how these might transfer to a new career.
What prompted you to consider a change?
Now focus on the drivers for change. These could be personal or professional. Perhaps you have aspirations to become a leader, manager, designer or trainer and feel the opportunities might be better in another sector. Once you’ve identified what’s making you move on, you can enter the job application process with complete clarity about what you want from a future career.
List your transferable skills
You may not have any HVAC experience to put on your CV but there will be skills that you have built up during your career which are transferable to other industries. These could be project management, teambuilding, communication, problem solving, software and other qualities that are attractive to potential employers. Read our article on soft skills in the building services sector.
Be aware of the skills gaps
There are significant skills gaps in the engineering sector right now and many of the companies we work with are keen to try different ways of attracting new talent. In fact, engineers remain on the UK’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL) with jobs like design engineer, mechanical engineer, quality control and production engineer featuring in the top 10 roles which are most difficult to recruit for. If you understand where the skills gaps are, you can match your experience to the right role and potentially kickstart your career with a company that is willing to provide training and career development. For more information, read our article on how employers are overcoming engineering skills shortages.
Decide whether to apply to a large firm or a smaller one
Larger firms may have more opportunities and better training regimes but small HVAC companies could be more open to someone from outside the sector. This is because employees in small firms tend to have varied roles that call for a wide range of skills. Read more about the pros and cons of working for large and small employers.
Update your CV
Now you know what skills you have and which direction you’d like your career to take, it’s time to update your CV. Your CV needs to make an impact quickly, especially if you are from outside the industry. Read our top 5 tips for preparing a CV that will get you noticed.
Don’t forget about your online presence
Once you start job hunting, your LinkedIn profile is likely to start getting more views. Now is the time to make sure you have a professional headshot, up-to-date summary and clear job history that focuses on the skills you’d like potential employers to know about.
Talk to a specialist recruiter
If you’re looking to break into an unknown industry, a niche recruiter like Thornhvac, with links to companies in HVAC, is a good place to start. We can evaluate your experience and suggest roles and employment opportunities that would suit your career goals and skillset.
We started by talking about the positives and this is something that becomes even more important as you start to explore vacancies. It’s easy to doubt yourself or wonder whether you should be moving at all, particularly when you have a secure job. It can be even harder to justify a career move during a global pandemic, so take a look at our advice in this article about changing jobs during uncertain times.
Looking for your next role in HVAC? Give us a call on 0115 871 4777