If you’re just starting out and trying to find your niche, or are well established and looking for a career change, making the jump to the automotive industry can be a challenging one. Unlike what you might expect from an entry-level position, making this leap isn’t as easy as showing up, putting in an application and waiting for a callback. What do you need to do if you’re interested in getting a job in the auto industry?
Start From The Bottom
Start off by lowering your expectations. Even if you have a lot of experience in different fields, if you’re making the jump to the automotive industry, you’ll be starting at the bottom. This isn’t a bad thing. If you can get through a few months or years as a drudge, the automotive sector is one of the few left in the world where you can start at the bottom and work your way up.
Don’t let your preconceived notions discourage you from starting out at a dealership or in a parts store — especially if your dream job in the industry requires some experience before you can apply.
Do Your Research
There are a lot of different ways to start a career in the automotive industry, depending on your skills and the kind of work you want to do. You can work on a race car track or apply at a parts store or make the switch to a dealership if you’ve got any skill in sales.
As with most careers, not all workplaces are created equal and some companies are better to work for than others. Do your research and see what opportunities you have in your area. This can also be a useful tool to help you determine the path you want your career to take.
Go Back School
Having a degree in a related field isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but earning that piece of paper can give you an edge and make you look more desirable than other applicants. Consider seeking out a degree in automotive technology or something related to the career you’re going to pursue.
If you’re interested in a specific branch of automotive engineering, consider seeking out a school that only offers degrees for that career path. You can find degree programs for nearly any specialty, depending on where you live or where you’re willing to relocate.
They say it’s not what you know, but who — and that goes triple for the automotive industry. You’re not going to find your dream job in the industry in the classified or on some online job board. Most of the jobs are advertised internally first and are spread by word0of 0motuh, making it difficult or impossible for an outsider to get their foot in the door. That is unless you already know someone who can wedge that door wide open.
Start making connections. Go to trade shows. Talk to people. Networking is going to be your biggest and most valuable tool when it comes to breaking into the automotive industry.
Don’t Give Up
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Breaking into a new industry is never easy, and the automotive sector is harder than most. Don’t give up, keep collecting connections and talking to people and before you know it, your dream job might fall right into your lap.