Is the Job Market Leaving You Behind? It's Okay to Pivot

Last Updated: 

July 4, 2024

The job market is a roller coaster: some years it soars up with opportunity, while other years it goes on a downward spree… but lately, it feels like we’re stuck on a never-ending plunge.

If you've been following the news in recent years, you probably know this all too well. We’ve all seen it during the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial crisis of 2008, the dot-com bubble of 2001, and… we could go on and on!

If you’ve been caught in yet another cycle of the job market, there’s a silver lining: it’s okay to pivot and leverage your strengths in a resume. In fact, it might be the best thing you can do for your career. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the job market, what makes it tick, when you should pivot, and most importantly, how to actually pivot. 

Key Takeaways on Keeping Up With the Job Market

  1. Recognise Market Changes: Understand that the job market is cyclical and influenced by events like the COVID-19 pandemic, technological advancements, and changing consumer preferences.
  2. Identify the Need to Pivot: If you're feeling dissatisfaction, low salary, or lack of work-life balance, it might be time to consider a career change.
  3. Self-Awareness: Conduct a self-assessment to determine why you want to pivot and identify your skills, interests, and motivations.
  4. Industry Research: Research careers that align with your interests and skills. Consider job shadowing or internships to gain firsthand experience.
  5. Networking: Connect with professionals in your desired field to gain insights, advice, and potential job referrals.
  6. Upskill: Enrol in online courses or local programs to acquire the necessary skills for your new career path.
  7. Implement Your Plan: Update your resume, leverage your network, and start applying for jobs in your new field with confidence.
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Why Is The Job Market Changing? 

Many things in life are cyclical, from the economy to fashion trends, the seasons, the moon, and even your sleep cycle. The job market is no different. 

But have you ever wondered what’s actually behind the recent changes in the job market? Let’s take a closer look: 

Pandemic and Remote Work

Perhaps one of the biggest catalysts for workplace transformation was the COVID-19 pandemic, which shattered the illusion that productivity was confined to the four walls of an office. After the ‘new normal,’ many companies and employees saw the potential of remote work (whether that was at home, in a cafe, or even across the globe!) 

New Technologies

After the introduction of artificial intelligence, it feels like new technologies and tools are popping up practically every day — and with that comes a decline in manual jobs and a demand for new skills. A common example is the grocery store, where self-checkout kiosks have become increasingly popular. In fact, according to a Telegraph article, about 8 out of 10 sales now go through self-checkouts, leading to a 26% decrease in checkout-related vacancies between October and the typically-busy hiring month of December.

Changing Consumer Preferences

As consumer tastes and preferences change, so do the industries that serve them. For example, the rise of online shopping has revolutionised the retail sector and created an entirely new demand for digital marketing and e-commerce in the job market. 

Another example of this shift is the decline of travel agents, especially since the advent of online travel agencies like Expedia and Priceline.

When & How To Pivot In Your Career

You reluctantly wake up from the sounds of your alarm, stumble through your morning routine, go to work and, when you arrive, the only thing you dream of is for the day to end as quickly as possible. Does this scenario sound familiar to you? 

Perhaps it's not just the monotony of the daily grind, but a gnawing sense of dissatisfaction. Maybe a low salary and a stagnant career path have extinguished your passion and drive. 

Or perhaps an actual work-life balance feels like an impossible dream, leaving you constantly exhausted and unfulfilled.

If any (or all) of these scenarios resonate with you, it might be time to consider a change… but how? 

Pivoting your career is a significant decision, and it's natural to feel overwhelmed or unsure about where to begin. 

However, fear not! It’s important to remember that countless others have successfully pivoted careers and found renewed purpose in their work. The key is to approach the process with a strategic plan and a willingness to embrace change. 

Self-Awareness

The first step is to do a little soul-searching and figure out why you actually want to pivot. 

Are you unhappy in your current career because of your boss or salary? Are you bored and looking for new challenges? Or do you want to move into a completely new field?

From there, assess your skills and hobbies. What skills have you acquired in your current or past positions that can be applied to your new career? What activities do you enjoy and what kind of work excites and motivates you?

When answering these questions, it might be a good idea to get a pen and paper to write down your thoughts. 

Industry Research

Once you have a few ideas scribbled down, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start researching! Start by exploring careers that align with your interests, skills, and goals. 

If you’re particularly interested in a certain position, see if there are opportunities to do on-the-job shadowing or a short internship. Witnessing the day-to-day realities of your desired career will provide valuable insights you won’t find anywhere else. 

Finally, be sure to network with professionals in your desired career to gain information, advice, and maybe even a referral when a job opportunity comes up!

If you picked a career and realised you don’t have the proper skills, don’t worry and start learning! You can ‘upskill’ by enrolling in online courses or exploring programs offered at your local college. 

Implementation!

Once you’ve settled on a new career path, all that’s left is to update your resume, reach out to your professional network, and start applying for jobs. You’ve got this! 

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