11 Rethink an industry

Every industry right now is being reinvented in ways that enable meaningful work. The companies leading the charge are the ones who are going to hire you. Before you begin this exercise, choose one industry that you are interested in working in.

Don’t know which industry to choose? Go back and consider other options you may have missed while Mapping Your Current Career Path.

Once you have chosen your industry, answer the following questions to help you discover the often invisible companies that are rebuilding, reinventing and redesigning our world.

  1. Why does industry X exist? What fundamental need does this industry meet? Does it ensure that people travel great distances quickly, or does it help us understand the world around us? How different do these needs look if you zoomed out 10, 20 or even 50 years from now? Express your answer to these questions in the form of a human need that will be around for many years to come.
  2. What’s broken? Knowing the current limitations, flaws and challenges of your industry can help you identify the gaps that you could fill and the opportunities for innovation. How could you help this industry function better and more sustainably and efficiently? Where are there opportunities for reinvention? Seek to answer these questions from an industry perspective.
  3. What are the mavericks doing? Once you start to look, you’ll find people who are already working on these core questions and rethinking industries from the ground up. Look at industry conferences to see who is speaking. Everyone within a particular industry knows who the relevant upstarts are. Get to know what these companies are doing, what questions they are asking and how they have found funding that allowed them to dedicate themselves to realizing their answer to that core question.
  4. Who are the winners? Understanding who profits as a result of your industry’s redesign will help you immediately recognize who will fund your work, who will hire you, or will eventually acquire the company you work for. You can guarantee that the companies already entrenched in answering this question are looking for ways to recreate and rebuild in response to our changing environment; they want to hire you.

University of Toronto Career Exploration & Education Next Steps: 

Attend a Career Research Resources workshop to engage in deep exploration of information about employers and the labour market.

Hear about industries directly from employers during information sessions as part of On Campus Recruitmentbackpack to Briefcase (b2B) Inside the Industry events, and U of T Hub Office Hours.

Now that you’ve answered these questions, Make a Company List and Talk to a Company you Don’t Know.

Visit Career Exploration & Education and meet with us for a 15-minute conversation to talk about your next step(s). Find our hours here.

 I have done it
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