Where to Start – Your Roadmap to a Career in Alternative Proteins

  • Career Resources
  • Published on October 23, 2023

Changing your career path can be intimidating – especially when you're eyeing a move into a dynamic industry like alternative proteins. But here's some uplifting news: As the global appetite shifts towards more ethical and eco-friendly food alternatives, the alternative proteins sector is accelerating. This means an infusion of substantial investment and an abundance of opportunities for those passionate about creating a difference in their careers.

You’re not starting from scratch. Think you might be starting from scratch because your resume doesn't scream "alternative proteins expert" That might not be the case. The alt protein industry needs a diversity of expertise, and employers are eagerly welcoming talents from various professional backgrounds and experiences.

In this guide, we'll give you the boost you need to kickstart your alt-protein career journey. We’ll help you:

  • Find Your Focus: Pinpoint exactly what you envision in your alternative protein role.
  • Identify Where You Fit In: Understand the way different skill sets can be applied to alt proteins to help you articulate your value to employers.
  • Decipher the Landscape: Grasp the varied opportunities and figure out where you'll shine the brightest.
  • Network and Apply: Build valuable connections and confidently step into the application process.

1. Dive into the 'Why' Behind Alt Proteins

To shine as a top candidate, it's essential to know why you're drawn to alt proteins. Are you captivated by the science or the sustainability factor? Perhaps your passion lies in animal welfare. Whatever your motivations may be, having conviction in your answer will help you identify the opportunities that are the best fit for you, and allow you to relate better to potential colleagues and employers.

Consider these questions to help you articulate your passion for alternative proteins:

  • Is there a certain aspect or mission of alt proteins that captivates you the most?
  • Was there a defining moment that took your interest in alternative proteins from curiosity to a career-changing conviction? Stories help people connect with you on a more personal level.
  • Do you have any early ideas on how your skills, experiences, and passions can be applied to advancing alternative proteins and making a meaningful impact? (If you’re not sure yet, no worries! We’re here to help.)

2. Get to know the Alt-Protein Players

Begin your job search by getting acquainted with the companies in this industry. Explore companies at different stages to get a feel for the landscape and decide if the size and maturity of the business are important factors in your job search. For example, an early-stage startup will likely offer a fast-paced, dynamic environment with opportunities for greater impact, but will also come with more risk, fewer resources, and responsibilities that fall outside your job description. A more established company will offer more job security and better benefits, but a larger company may mean you have less individual influence. 

While exploring different companies, analyze their goals, products, and even job descriptions to gauge where you can fit in. Even if a specific role doesn't align, knowing their needs can give you an edge during formal and informational interviews. 

APC Tip: check out GFI's Alt Protein Company Database and for a networking masterclass, head to our Build Your Network guide.

3. Demystify Your Options

Feeling overwhelmed by the vast number of opportunities? Intimidated and confused by the opaque job titles and jargon-filled job descriptions? Take a systematic approach. Browse current job listings, analyze potential career trajectories, and position yourself accordingly.

4. Identify Transferable Skills

Don't underestimate the value of your existing skill set, even if it seems unrelated to this field at first glance. Many skills you've honed in your current career – be it project management, problem-solving, marketing, finance, or communication. These skills are highly transferable and can be extremely valuable in the alternative proteins sector. Companies in this industry are seeking individuals with diverse expertise to drive innovation, define sustainable business practices, launch new products, improve their marketing strategy, and more. 

Below are a few examples of how your expertise can be applied to alt proteins:

  • Project Management: Perfect for streamlining intricate R&D processes.
  • Marketing & Communication: Essential for demystifying alt-protein innovations.
  • Finance & Analytics: Pivot companies towards strategic decisions and cost-efficiency.
  • Supply Chain & Logistics: Crucial for efficient product distribution.
  • R&D: Drive innovative product creation with scientific rigor.
  • Engineering: Optimize production processes and ensure quality.
  • Environmental Science: Guide towards sustainable practices and reduce carbon footprints.
  • HR: Cultivate a harmonious and inclusive workplace culture.
  • Regulatory & Legal: Navigate the complex regulatory milieu to ensure compliance.

5. Build Your Network

Your network is your biggest asset. Engage with industry trailblazers, attend events, and immerse yourself in online communities. Remember, it's not just about who you know, but also about who knows you!

For a deep dive into networking, peek into our Build Your Network guide.