Look for an “Adjacent” Industry

My husband and I had a fire in our house last year. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the house is still standing! During the house restoration, I had the opportunity to see many skilled tradespeople at work, many of them working in adjacent industries.

An adjacent industry is one that touches another industry in some way. If you’re looking for a new career, look towards industries adjacent to your own. If you can identify a common link, then you will be offering a company related experience and knowledge that will differentiate you.

Here are some industries links that I noticed after the fire:

FIRE DEPARTMENT:

Who manufactures the fire trucks? Do they also make ambulances? Who makes fire hoses? Do they also make garden hoses? What about companies that sell fire alarms? Do they also provide residential security?

ART RESTORATION:

Our art collection had smoke damage. The company told me that 100% of their business comes from insurance. So processing insurance claims (a service) is adjacent, as are the chemicals (products) used for restoration. 

CITY BUILDING PERMITS:

A building code inspector came to the house. What other types of buildings require government oversight? Factories?

RESUME WRITING: 

It was a natural transition for me to move from being a recruiter to being a resume writer. I provide both products (resumes) and services (specialized business writing). But what if I wanted to become a grant writer? I am a good writer, but I know nothing about grants. Someone who has already written them has an advantage. 

MILK and WINE: 

These industries are adjacent because they both sell liquid products to grocery and convenience stores. 

Think specifically about the customers and suppliers for a company. They all have adjacent industries. Always examine any possible connections. Don’t underestimate how your knowledge and experience could be of value to a company! Maybe the fact that you have worked in an adjacent industry just might help you get the job!