There’s no question that some sectors of the job market are stagnant at the moment. Recent news of redundancies at UBS and Barclayssuggest that jobs in the banking industry are going to be few and far between for the foreseeable future. Equally, public-sector recruitment is down in many areas with some organisations freezing all hiring.
People who have been working in sectors which have been hit hard by the current economic situation often ask me if they should change careers to improve their chances of finding a job. My answer is generally a cautious “yes”. It’s not easy to change direction but it can be done.
But which sector to choose?
Well one sector which seems to be doing remarkably well is IT. New data compiled by CW Jobs indicates that opportunities for people working in the IT sector actually increased at the end of 2012. Permanent vacancies went up by 6pc in the last 3 months of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011 with 99,417 jobs advertised in the three months to December.
A surprising number of people who work in IT actually started theircareers in another industry. There are plenty of HR managers who have expertise in managing HR Systems and plenty of people in finance who are also Sage or Excel gurus. I spoke recently to a sales manager who now specialises in helping businesses to install Salesforce, a CRM platform designed to manage the performance of sales teams.
These transferable skills could be a huge asset for you. Skills which you can apply in an entirely new field where there may be many more job opportunities.
A good start to the process of initiating a career change would be to carry out a thorough personal audit. What are your goals, interests, strengths and key skills?
Some people make the decision to become self-employed and follow a dream to start their own business. Others discover a passion for writing or design, both skills that could take you down new and interesting career paths.
Back to school
I also speak to people who want to embark on further training or go back into full time education to get the qualifications that may be required to start again. The fact that mature students account for a third of all university places testifies to the number of people who make this decision. And then there are the many excellent MBA programmes that are generally designed to be “post experience” courses preferring to take candidates who have had some previous work experience.
Apart from IT, there are other sectors that appear to be doing better than others at the moment on the jobs market. Ever thought of becoming a teacher? There’s still a “severe” shortage of maths and science teachers in schools. Engineering is another sector that is experiencing steady growth with a continuing demand for staff at every level.
Although many of the jobs require high level technical skills (and qualifications) engineering companies will also have vacancies for people with transferable skills in other areas including finance, procurement, quality assurance, project management and so on.
If you are currently frustrated by the lack of jobs in your particular field then why not explore new horizons?