Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball to predict the best jobs for the next decade? Uncertainty eliminated, everyone could retrain for a new job knowing that the future job market would be rosy and bright!
Short of a crystal ball, we have information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and reports from news organizations such as U.S. News & World Report to help guide and inform our plans. The good news? The Associated Press reports that “It’s a big economy; 350 million people — there’s always going to be people hiring,” said Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
While 16% of U.S. employers plan to cut staff, 16% of employers “expect to add workers, while 62% percent anticipate a steady payroll.” That’s promising news for a huge chunk of workers — 78%. (Another 6% weren’t sure what staffing plans for Q1.)
Looking at 2009 overall, 14% of employers plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees, 16% plan to decrease staff levels and 56% expect no change. 13% are unsure.
CareerBuilder points out that “There will still be openings due to regular turnover, some job creation, a skilled worker shortage and people retiring or changing careers. What does this mean for you? There are still jobs to be had, it’s just going to take more time and some extra work to find that new position.
The trick is to figure out where that hiring will be!
Do Your Research
Every job seeker should keep an eye on his or her industry and make plans for the future with an informed outlook. It’s a good idea to set a Google alert for organizations and fields of interest to you so you’ll be aware when there are newsworthy ups and downs in your market.
Clearly, Wall Street is a difficult place to find a job (although I have heard of laid-off workers being picked up by more successful competitors quickly). Previously considered recession proof, many luxury industries are suffering as even the wealthy tighten their purse strings. On a brighter note, the health care sector continues to expand, as do opportunities in green energy organizations. (The clean energy boom is expected to produce 4.2 million new green jobs over the next 30 years, according to a study by the nation’s mayors in October 2008.)
Career expert Laurence Shatkin just wrote a book called 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs. In an interview with Barbara Kiviat for Time Magazine, he notes, “Governments are being impacted by this recession because it’s so severe, but on the whole, government-related jobs tend to be more secure, particularly jobs that have to do with law enforcement and education. People have to send their kids to school no matter what the economic conditions are. Post-secondary education tends to be a pretty secure place to be too. People will ride out recession by going back to school. And there are certain utilities, like water, electricity, gas, garbage pickup, sewage treatment. These things will be needed no matter what the economy is.”
Lindsey Pollak recently pointed out that President-elect Obama plans to create an enormous public works construction program to stimulate the economy. Lindsey suggests, “If you’d like to land one of those new jobs when they’re created, start studying now to understand what types of skills, experience and knowledge will be required. (For instance, you could set up a Google news alert for phrases such as “public works,” “national infrastructure” or “expanding broadband access.”)
Here is a list of the top 20 jobs from U.S. News & World Report’s 30 best careers for 2009:
Clearly, there will continue to be opportunities for top performers in every industry. If you have kept up with your networking and worked hard to be well known in your field, you will be better situated than most to job hunt. Extra gold stars for you if you have kept your resume up-to-date and are easily able to list your skills and accomplishments for your targeted resume.
That doesn’t sound like you? You never thought you’d be looking for a job and are totally unprepared? With the right information and motivation, it’s not too late! You’ll have some catching up to do, but you can still be successful.
UPDATE: May 10, 2009:
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