There’s a lot of talk about jobs disappearing with AI and robots gradually replacing us. But, predictions are showing that in the future the number of jobs out there are actually likely to increase. The only catch is that they are going to look a little different. As technology, culture and the way we live and work evolves, there is going to be a natural evolution of existing roles.
This impacts on career transition in a number of exciting ways. It opens the doorway for you to take on new roles with an increased level of diversity in the work you do and the skills you build. Variety is the spice of life and work alike, and if you find areas where you are interested in upskilling, your employability is likely to continue to increase. On the flip side of this, it also means that at times the role that you were in, may in fact be shrinking and you will need to think creatively about where to take your skills next.
As you stand on the precipice of your next career move or are even thinking about it in a future context, the following approaches might help you to navigate your career left turn or industry pivot.
The values and culture led approach
I am lucky to have a sister who is led by her heart and has a deep belief in conservation. Her career didn’t start there, however. She was originally an investment banker and a great one at that. Then came a calling to work in the environmental and conservation space. She followed a values and culture led approach to her pivot and today works at Taronga Zoo in the tertiary and governance space.
If you are contemplating a change and there is an area, cause or industry that you deeply believe in, this could be the anchor through which you start exploring your pivot. Traditional transition pivots taken by this approach include moving into the not-for-profit sector, education or healthcare space, but don’t limit yourself to these career moves alone. Think deeply about your values and don’t be afraid to explore left-field industries to find your values fit.
Don’t underestimate how life enriching finding your tribe and doing work that you deeply believe in can be.
The growth industry approach
Two close family friends of mine own businesses in aged care. These innovative, high growth small businesses are moving from strength-to-strength, finding it hard to keep up with the demand of the ageing population and changes to government funding structures. They also often find it challenging to recruit for top talent, as this is not a particularly popular area for people to consider pivoting into. There is a great lesson in this story.
As some industries struggle to maintain relevance, others are hitting their stride. Outside of healthcare and social assistance, other examples include digital services like buy now pay later technology, online communication technology and online shopping services. Some of these growth industries are popular to work in and have plenty of talent knocking on their door, looking for jobs, while others are finding it hard to keep up with their recruiting requirements.
Is there a high growth industry that fascinates you? Is one of these industries less popular than others? If it is a high growth area, that is desperate for more talent, you could find a career sweet spot where you can quickly upskill and get great hands on experience.
The skills led approach
I think that moving into tech will give me a strong grounding in different skills that will increase my employability. Have you ever had the chance to lead a team? When weighing up different career options one of the most basic questions to ask yourself is, ‘what are the 2-3 skills that would be the most valuable for me to develop next and which industries would be great for that?’
This is one of the reasons why so many people want to work for tech companies. It’s not just the bean bags. It is also a space where you can quickly develop a range of new and future-focused skills.
You can however take this model outside of tech. Don’t limit yourself to thinking about technical skills only, the next most relevant skills for you could be in managing people, working in a big organisation or in developing your general sales or marketing skills. This approach is a great way to develop your employability.
The lifestyle approach
Flexible work is now embedded in how so many of us work and want to live. Recent lockdowns have opened the door to working differently across a much broader set of industries. Having more choice over the lifestyle that surrounds your work has given many a taste for new ways of working. If you are considering a career pivot this could be a key differentiator for you.
For some it’s the ability to choose your hours, for others it is deciding to explore work that doesn’t tie you to a desk or is fundamentally more social. Don’t underestimate the impact of your work environment on your life.
The ultimate career pivot
The four approaches we just explored are not mutually exclusive. We hope that your career pivot gets you that little bit closer to finding a growing organisation, where you feel a strong fit with the lifestyle, values and culture of the team and where you are developing a new set of relevant and valuable skills. This is the ultimate career pivot.