Are you a soon to be graduate or desperately in need of a career change? Poor quality work lives are causing increased stress, leading to career pivots or even putting off the job hunt altogether – in favour of gap years and years. Add to that a drop in average salaries by 1% and it can be very hard to know what the right decision is when it comes to picking a career industry.
However, due to the current job market the opportunities for upskilling, along with sector staff shortages, means that there are a number of ways to find great job prospects that you can get excited about.
1. Start by looking at the industries in need
The skills shortage in teaching in the UK is well publicised, with industries in need of workers, like construction and engineering, suffering as a result. Similarly, it’s been reported in the last year that HR and recruitment companies have been struggling to fill roles, some for up to three years, in crucial positions like barbers, mechanics, veterinarians and pharmacy technicians.
Choosing an industry that needs you has its rewards and its downsides. Because they need new staff, these roles will often come with attractive salaries, competitive extras and great career opportunities. On the flip side, they will require a very high level of dedication and you might not have all the support you need. It many ways, this is similar to a start up environment: all hands on deck.
Starting back at entry level, which often happens when changing industry, with its salary drop, might not be feasible for those at management level, but for graduates these jobs are ideal. Graduate recruitment agency, Instant Impact lists a variety of graduate jobs, ranging in industries from recruitment, technology and engineering, to healthcare. All of which are earmarked for the new graduate.
2. Nail down your transferable skills, especially soft skills
If you are looking to career pivot, as opposed to starting again, you may find that you have more transferable skills than you realise.
Qualifications needed to get your CV in the door will vary widely depending on the industry that you are considering working in. But you should also consider what outside skills you could bring to a role. For example, you may not actually need to know all about IT software, marketing or have medical experience to work in management or co-ordinator roles within a business.
Transferable skills are the key to negotiating a career switch, allowing you to showcase your value to a business. Proved examples of leadership, communication, analytical reporting and personal development can all help you to land a job in a new sector.
Soft skills are often more important than qualifications, say 1 in 3 UK employers. Creativity and adaptability are two of the attributes that many employers are seeking, but aren’t finding. Graduate jobs pair perfectly here, the entry level position can easily lean into the soft skills of the applicant over their experience, no matter the industry they choose.
It’s important to check job specs when applying for a position in a new industry. There are times when qualifications are going to be key to a role, and others where qualifications are a bonus and what you bring as a team member matters more.
3. Choose the jobs you want to do, but don’t limit yourself
Did you know that you FE jobs aren’t just teaching positions? In fact, FE jobs can range from lecturers to IT technicians, course co-ordinators to office managers. If you decide early on that you don’t want to work in a certain industry or sector, then you could easily miss out of great opportunities.
It important that you choose a job that you want to do. Many people leave jobs because they realise they don’t enjoy them. But there are practicalities to consider too. Are you living in an expensive area like London? If so, will an FE job pay you enough to live there? If you are working in sales, will you be able to work outside of a main city and therefore be able to make more money and spend less on rent or a mortgage?
Being aware of what an industry can offer you is an important consideration, alongside what you want to do. Some industries won’t pay as highly, but will be stable meaning you won’t run the risk of becoming redundant. For families or couples starting out, taking a gamble simply might not be financially viable.
Also be aware of career growth potential and how that affects earnings. In industries with shortages, especially in small businesses, there is great potential to start low but rise through the ranks quickly. In more competitive sectors, like the arts, if you make a big splash you can do very well, though many will struggle for years before succeeding.
If you can smartly analyse what your potential is, find the gap in the market and are willing to look outside the box, finding the right career industry will be easy.