How to Determine the Direction of your Career in the New Decade
A few decades ago, you would be almost certain of finding employment opportunities after successfully graduating from college. Back then, the job market was more stable than it is today. It was possible to retain the same career for the better part of your adult life.
But today, the job market is subject to constant disruptions. Many aspects of the economy have changed due to technological developments in AI, automation, and the gig economy. It is becoming more challenging for many people trying to find a career path.
Despite the challenges, the changing economy has created new exciting opportunities. There is also more flexibility in the job market to find something that complements your skills and passion.
How the market has Evolved
Several factors are responsible for the changing job market. The main one is new technologies, which have affected virtually every industry. From car dealerships to law firms, technological tools are proving to be indispensable for decision making. Automation is now used for recruitment as well as for enhancing many industrial processes.
Another key point to remember when trying to find a career path is that organizations are working towards diversity. Many companies are looking to integrate women, minorities, and people with disabilities. As a result, the work demographic has changed, which is bound to have implications for prospective employees.
Statistics show that people are finding it harder to find a job in the evolving economy. Today, the unemployed may take more than six months to secure employment. Also, the number of people who have given up finding a steady job has almost doubled in the last decade.
Just like the unemployed, organizations are also facing uncertainties and are increasingly turning to part-time and temporary workers. There are fewer permanent positions partly due to disruptions in the economy.
However, there are also positive changes that are advantageous for people trying to find a career path. 51% of businesses can last more than five years, according to SBA. The data implies the economy is still stable. There are more opportunities in the AI industry and an increase in administrative jobs in medical field.
Technology has also made it easier to pursue your passion. In the past, you had to find a permanent job or start your own business to get an income. Thanks to the gig economy, there is a third option for the unemployed. You can secure freelance jobs on platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork. You can work remotely and take on tasks on a project by project basis.
Additionally, online platforms have simplified the process of acquiring new skills. There are tons of resources online for people trying to change careers. You can use videos and eBooks to work towards becoming an agent for call centers.
Start with a Blue Print
When trying to find a career path, realize that you alone have the responsibility of planning your future. The evolving economy has taken away some opportunities, but it has also created new exciting ones. Therefore, strive towards developing a sound long-term plan with clear benchmarks.
Just because the market is uncertain doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan for the future. Creating a blueprint is more relevant during these unpredictable times than ever before. Take the time to put it in writing as it will improve clarity when deciding the direction of your future career.
However, your plan shouldn’t be rigid. It should have room for making adjustments where necessary. That way, you can find your way back into the job market when there are unexpected disruptions. You may take a remote learning program to boost your resume and chances for employment.
When you are trying to find your footing, it is also advisable to have mentors you can consult. If you want to start a new venture, you may consider hiring a life and business coach. However, you can also get quality advice from colleagues with relevant experience in your industry.
Know Your Skills and Passion
It may be true that securing full-time jobs is becoming more difficult. But one advantage of the ever-evolving career landscape is that it is easier to find something that complements your skills and passion. Employers are relaxing some of their requirements. As a result, there is more room for adjustments for people trying to find a career path in the coming decade.
To improve your prospects, you should have a clear understanding of your skills and passion. That sense of clarity will define your path and improve your career prospects.
For instance, there may be more opportunities in AI and machine learning. But programming may be something that you find repetitive and exhausting. Even if you find a job with an attractive package, research shows you’ll probably be miserable.
Therefore, it is better to think laterally rather than constantly pursuing trends. You can make adjustments faster by learning new ways to utilize your experience and know-how. For example, you may have had a sales career with a great track record. You probably like working with people and persuading them to buy products and services. You can take advantage of opportunities in the gig economy to be a copywriter or a public relations agent.
Address Your Skills Gaps
In a changing job market, you must understand how to update your resume. You may be missing a skill set that may limit your chances of landing a lucrative job. Attorneys applying for a new position may find that there are new software tools law-firms are using to improve processes. In such situations, your application may be unsuccessful for lacking one important soft skill.
Take the time to unearth those gaps in your resume when trying to find a career path. You may use the traditional system where you map your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. However, a better way is to start by considering the objections you’ll get from a potential employer.
You can also utilize online job boards to find out what employers want from applicants. Once you have an idea of what is required, you can evaluate the skill-sets that are missing from your resume. You may realize that most banks are looking for staff conversant with fintech technologies. Such insights will give you time to prepare and determine the courses to take to update your skills.
Learning to Predict Trends
Automation will inevitably take away some jobs in traditional industries. But as it is with most technological developments in the past, it brings about new opportunities. In 2020, it means that employees will be working alongside AI and automated machines. When trying to find a career path, you should pay attention to such developments and how they could impact your industry.
Entrepreneurs and product development firms have been using data science to forecast significant disruptions in the future. Individuals can also employ data analysis to understand the nature of trends so that they can stay ahead of the curve. You can validate your hunches and make more confident decisions about the direction of your career.
Another approach is running keyword searches to find out new trends in your industry. With the data, you can validate some of the decisions your organization is making for the future. If the company is investing less in machine learning, the analytics can give you insights on the viability of such a move. Using the information, you can decide whether to stay or seek other opportunities elsewhere.
Another reason you should learn data analysis is that it is becoming a central part of virtually every industry. Most organizations are turning to analytics when they need to make critical decisions. For example, if your background is in daycare, you will be making a performance assessment using data tools. By acquiring data analytics skills, your resume can stand out against those of other candidates looking for a job.
Crafting your Resume
Technology is also changing how employers are recruiting people into the organization. These changes have had implications on the process of crafting a winning resume. The hiring process is going virtual, and organizations are more likely to interview you remotely via a video call.
Transparency is more crucial in the current job market than it has been before. Employers are using sophisticated systems to validate the claims you make in your resume. That means it is much easier for recruiters to detect any inaccurate facts in your application.
Whether the employer is looking for attorneys or construction workers, they are more likely to run background checks. Statistics show that drug tests have increased by more than 25% in the last decade. They will also conduct skills and personality evaluations to validate the facts in your resume. Therefore, write your resume anticipating these assessments. That way, you can ensure companies will not decline your application for inaccuracies.
You also need to be flexible and adaptable. Your skills are more important to employers than your job titles. Writing your resume for the current job market requires presenting your strengths in a format that effectively communicates your skills.
If you present a cluttered resume, it will most probably find its way into the trash bin. Employers have to skim through hundreds of applications every day. Tailor your resume in a way that will reflect your most relevant skills set. Use relevant keywords and percentages where necessary, to make the text easier to read.
Organizations have also realized they need to adapt to keep up with the evolving markets continually. Many companies have done away with annual performance reviews. They instead emphasize hiring staff members who can respond positively to feedback. During the interview, it helps if you show that you are responsive to their concerns. You can stand out against other applicants by demonstrating your interest in learning new skills.
Network and Collaborate
If you are trying to find a career path in 2020, it would be ill-advised to ignore networking. Your professional network is more valuable in the rapidly evolving economy. That’s why you should learn to utilize the relationships you build to improve your future job prospects.
You can choose from a wide range of platforms to tailor your networking efforts. From Facebook to LinkedIn, there are more opportunities to connect with individuals as well as professional groups. Developments in technology have made it easier to find people around the world with similar interests and outlook on life.
You should activate your network as early as possible to prevent career stagnation. The first step is to deepen the relationships you already have with colleagues and business partners. Reach out to people even when you don’t need to ask for anything from them.
Remember that professionals also expect to benefit from your network. So, you should share information and insights into the job market as much as you gain from it. Whether your area of specializations is car dealerships or banking, there is always some relevant information to share.
It is always advisable to plan to attend conferences and meetups. Prepare a schedule for networking to make sure you do not miss an important event. Planning will make you more discerning on what opportunities to pursue and the ones that may not be relevant.
Volunteering is another way to network and improve your prospects when you are trying to find a career path. You can boost your resume by volunteering to head or participate in a professional group. You can volunteer to organize a networking meeting to get valuable contacts that could prove invaluable in the future.
Review your networking blueprint every year to keep up with the ever-evolving job market. Whether you are an accountant or an attorney, a networking map can help in many ways. Take time to craft a plan as it could be the best investment when trying to find a career path.
There are many disruptions in the job market today. However, they come with many opportunities for the unemployed who may be looking to start a new career. The most significant step is to learn how the changes may affect your prospects. Take the time to write down your plan to prepare for changes in the economy.