With Covid-19, there seems to be a split in today’s marketplace. In fact, there appears to be two. First, some group of workers are making a lot more money while another group is making a lot less. Second, some jobs are accelerating and are in great demand with less supply of talent, while other jobs are being eliminated or reduced with less demand and more supply. What’s going on?
Part of the answer is the result of the pandemic. A survey commissioned by Amazon found that 61% of Americans are on the lookout for new jobs. Why? Some jobs aren’t well suited for working remotely or workers don’t have the skills or temperament for remote work. Some workers are on furlough because they are in a shrinking industry. Whatever the cause, there is a major shift between the “haves” (those that have the skills and experiences in the right industries to thrive) and the “have-nots (those who don’t).
Why would Amazon sponsor a survey like this one? Well if you read the news, Amazon is looking to fill 33,000 jobs of skilled and experienced workers that pay on average $150,000 a year. These jobs fall into the category of those who are in high demand but have low supply. There is a skills and experience gap that Amazon is trying to fill.
The other side of the marketplace are those who don’t have the relevant skills or experience in the high demand jobs. Over 25% of those surveyed are foretelling that their jobs will be gone within the next 5 years. These are the workers who must develop a new set of skills, either through their own initiative (on-line, tech centers, courses at local schools) or through training programs (provided by larger companies, state or local agencies or the federal programs).
So, what are the industries that have a high need for workers but a low supply? Technology of all kinds is one of the major areas of need in almost all industries. Healthcare workers of all kind are also a high need industry. Workers or managers who enjoy and are successful working remotely in industries that want to transition away from the office environment, like project management, sales, customer relations, or new business development.
What are the industries to stay away from? Brick and mortar retail at this point in time (while on-line retail is flourishing), the travel and related businesses (airplanes, buses, stop-overs, hotels/motels, restaurants) and to a lesser degree the service business (however, services that are required like plumber, electrician, or delivery are maintaining their relevancy).
What does all this mean for you? Common sense should drive you in the right direction. Assess what industries are in demand, what skills you have that might apply, how and where can you improve your skills and experiences and develop a strategy to get you to where you want to go to be successful. Design your future for tomorrow’s work world, not yesterday’s.
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