Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Finding new career ideas

The past year of Covid has shaken us all up like ants in a box. Forced lockdowns, uncertainty, increased personal risk, unemployment, over-employment have collectively made us reconsider our options, and do some bigger picture thinking. As a result, a number of us who have been procrastinating about making changes, are now seizing the moment to make it; while a number of us who were pursuing what we thought we wanted are now having a rethink. 

Many of us are searching for something new. We can find evidence of this in places which we may not have ordinarily thought to look.

For example, we could explore the top ten job searches on the Careers New Zealand website over the past year, which have been (TEC, 2 March 2021):

  1. Police officer (also the most popular search in 2018 and 2019)
  2. Registered nurse
  3. Psychologist
  4. Paramedic (up from 6th most popular search in 2019)
  5. Accountant
  6. Electrician (was in 10th place in 2019)
  7. Secondary school teacher (down from 4th in 2019)
  8. Architect (down one search spot from 7th in 2019)
  9. Early childhood teacher
  10. Real estate agent (new to the top 10)

However, we need to remember that the TEC list is only a list of searches. Searches are like window shopping: as looking is not synonymous with buying: so too are searches not synonymous with new entrants to the listed professions.

Another example is to read opinion pieces by futurists on what professions are projected as growth areas. While these projections need to be taken with a kilo of salt, they can often spark our imaginations, or at least allow us to consider areas which we may not have previously been on our radar. A list of areas which are projected to grow, post-Covid-19, are:

  1. Health and wellbeing (including "health and wellness coaches, physiotherapists, personal trainers, nutritionists and dieticians" Dickinson, 2021, citing futurist, Morris Miselowski)
  2. Mental health workers (ranging from "telehealth counselling to senior policymaking"; Dickinson, 2021)
  3. Aged care (including "physiotherapy, gardening, preparing meals, driving and delivering supplies; Dickinson, 2021, citing futurist, Morris Miselowski)
  4. Surgical assistants ("physician assistants [,..., RNs], operating theatre nurse[s] or theatre team leader[s]"; Dickinson, 2021, citing futurist, Morris Miselowski)
  5. Virtual influencer teams (predicted to include software engineers, marketers, and psychologists; Dickinson, 2021, citing futurist, Morris Miselowski). I think influencers are already past-peak, but hey. It is worth the thought. 
  6. Robotic-to-human experts (aka software, hardware and mechatronics engineers; Dickinson, 2021, citing futurist, Morris Miselowski). 

One area that Dickinson did not have on the list was that of pets. We have more pets than ever, so need more vets, more animal services (grooming, accessories, pet health, insurance, walkers etc). This was predicted to be, along with aged care, and wellness, one of the three main growth areas at the turn of the century. I think we are only now starting to feel the impact of these.

What is interesting is that there is only one trade mentioned. Something else to think about. 


Sam

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