Ingbretsen Consulting Leadership, Management, Organization & Career Development

Leadership/Career Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How to Make Smart Career Choices 2009

We are in the midst of a recession with an increasing rate of unemployment. With that said, we are also experiencing a lack of preparation by many entering and those which have been laid off, to deal effectively with gaining the career knowledge required in navigating the ever changing workplace.

Many are now faced with chasing an unrealistic dream job, with others not knowing what their next career move will be. If you find yourself in this situation; stop…take some time to think through your possible options. Take the time to examine your strengths, skills, talents, competencies, and aspirations and what it will take to “reinvent you” for the realities of the market place. Not only is the workplace itself changing rapidly, but career opportunities are also evolving. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that over Fifteen million new jobs will be added in the next ten years.

A large number of individuals will enter into college or certification programs without a clear career goal, resulting in costly time and money spent chasing a degree and low demand job specialty or drifting from one major or program to another, pursuing courses which do not align with employer needs. Engaging in obtaining more credits or training without a clear purpose is not an effective direction to take in pursuing your next career.

When planning your next career move, look for trends that will possibly require your present skills and abilities. Most likely you will need some addition education or training, but it will be focused in the right area. The following information may spark some ideas which will help you focus on likely possibilities.

In general, any job that requires personal contact with customers or provides a service that can not be transferred off shore is a smart career choice. These can be categorized as “high touch relationship jobs.” Examples of these job areas would be: residential care, child care, pharmacist, psychologists, personal/business coaches, and physical therapists, public relations specialists, hospitality specialist, police officer, firefighters, security, sales people, nursing and teaching.

The economy will come back so traditional skilled trades such as carpentry, electrician, plumbing, construction contractors, food processing, quick-turn and custom manufacturing, auto mechanics, maintenance and repair look very good in terms of not moving offshore. Also, cosmetologist, hair stylist, dental hygienists, administrative assistants and computer support specialist are good choices.

Online retail sales will continue to drive home delivery; this will increase the need for drivers, pilots, airplane mechanics, distribution specialists, etc. Retail store positions will decline gradually as Internet shopping continues to grow, but there will always be retail stores and retail positions.

Positions requiring creativity and originality will still be highly valued. The need to write books, screen plays, TV shows, music, and produce the sports our culture enjoys, will continue to drive the entertainment sector.

The retirement population alone is driving the need for replacement workers and is already creating high demand in products and services tailored to this demographic. Home building in retirement areas will be on the increase, home healthcare services, nursing homes and the leisure/recreation industry for the 55+ age group will generate a large increase in employment.

The increase in the “baby boom” population will also drive a continuing need for surgeons, nurses, and financial specialists. Many jobs in local, state and federal government will surly continue. Jobs related to the energy field such as engineers, line technicians, and fuel cell sales and distribution specialists will grow. Applications engineers, network and technical support technicians will be in demand for many years.

Last and certainly not least, a vocation in religious institutions and employment in nonprofit organizations will definitely continue. There will be a need for ordained ministers, priest’s, rabbis, and all the jobs associated with religious and nonprofit intuitions such as, executive directors, counselors, program directors, grant writers, fund raisers, lobbyists and administrative support individuals.

As new discoveries are made in medicine, science and technology, new and unnamed jobs will be created. Each major discovery in these fields has spawned new industries which have created tens of thousands of jobs.

The key to survival and winning in the career game will be your ability to spot and learn new jobs and be the best at what you do. Even in tough times, if you have a reputation for being a quick learner and being the best in your field, you will do better than most.

A Very Important Point: In most if not all jobs, no matter how secure you feel, you will experience ups and downs due to the economy, unexpected changes in technology and world events. There are no guarantees, but with determination, focus and learning new skills for in-demand career fields, you can stay employed.

What useable information can you add to this article?

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