Different sectors, industries, functions and locations all have up and down cycles. Some are affected by the economy, new trends, supply or demand, government funding, political philosophies and a number of other factors. You can sometimes affect your longer-term career by understanding those forces related to the marketplace. Here are a few of them:
Business: When companies are in a downslide, finance and cost cutting takes priority. As business trends upward, marketing and sales are on the forefront. Some businesses counter the trend through reorganizations. These cycles can all be opportunities for you.
Entrepreneurial: New businesses are started in a downturn because more people are out of work. Home or e-businesses are a way to produce income while waiting for the turn. Some find it more lucrative and continue to grow and expand their own business later.
Industries: Energy is a hot industry right now: Solar, oil drilling, installation of pipelines. Government regulations affect this industry (off-shore drilling, Key Stone pipeline) but one source of energy or another will be advantaged over others. Construction is a bust right now, but will accelerate shortly. Health care will emerge with the baby-boomers aging.
Economy: For new graduates, looking for experiences in the international sector, like the Peace Corp, has merit. Also, AmeriCorps and Military experiences are especially valuable if you can later convert those skills to the private sector: Computer, healthcare, projects.
Supply versus demand: The demand for oil workers in N. Dakota pays $80,000 a year. Alaska is another high demand location. National, state and local statistics can give you a good idea of the supply/demand equation for most all types of jobs, if you can relocate.
Education: Teachers are in demand in science and math, while physical education and the arts/music are diminished. The cost of a 4-year college forces expansion of 2-year degrees: professional and trade schools. On-line degrees are gaining favor for many.
Government funding: Whenever the government makes policy it usually affects the workers needed: Environmental, Homeland Security, TSA, to name a few. This is also true on the state level, whether it be police hiring, infrastructure construction or adding teachers.
Political philosophy: Changes in political priorities affect jobs. During Busch’s term, the philosophy was to use government contractors versus employees to work on projects. During Obama’s term, that changed to just the opposite and government jobs surged.
What can you do about all of this? Stay as close to your passion as you can. Understand how your direction parallels or goes against the grain of the market. Decide whether to relocate or not. Move into a parallel function or industry until the cycle moves your way. Add education, professional certificates or responsibilities to broaden your appeal to more opportunities. Volunteer with organizations that increase your exposure or skills.
The objective is to utilize the cycles affecting your career to the best advantage over time.
Get more insights at: mygreenerfuture.com. Send questions to: Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net.