Industries are always changing. A strong market size is vital for industries to survive and thrive. Shifts in consumerism are often predictable, but can also be out of companies' control. The pandemic, for example, saw devastating effects for certain industries, while others thrived. It's important to understand the size of the industry, and its potential to grow, when conducting a job search. Sometimes it's even worth choosing an industry before you decide on the specific role you're applying for.
During the pandemic, there was a huge shift to e-commerce. Retail and hospitality could no longer go about business as usual as restrictions and Covid-19 fears simply didn't permit it. Online shopping and ordering in became the new norm. Banks switched to automation and conducted most of their services online. Data protection mattered more than ever. Healthcare also made a switch to telehealth, replacing in-person visits. Unsurprisingly, the tech industry blew up.
Let's have a look at some industry trends during the pandemic. These demonstrate how consumer behavior and government regulations can dramatically change the market.
Whether you're looking for your first job, changing jobs, or making a career change, you should know what makes your industry grow. Technology, demographics, government, and social behavior all impact the success of an industry.
Technological Advancements - technology changes how an industry functions and how other industries use their product
Demographic Characteristics - the age of consumers, where they choose to live, family status, and how they spend their free time cause shifts in demand
Government - the cost of living, government regulations, tax rates, and subsidies limit and expand industry opportunities
Social Behavior - societal changes and social influences impact on people's mentality about their beauty, leisure, spare time, and evidently, where they spend their money
Industries that are always adjusting to consumer demands are the ones that will continue to grow. They should be accepting and embracing technology and implementing technological advancements into how they function. Companies need to keep up with the demand to see more customers and growth. If they're stuck in their old ways, they'll be too slow and lose to their competition.
So how can you evaluate the size of your industry? The good thing is, there are plenty of indicators that can help you understand how your industry of choice is performing. Use this knowledge to make informed decisions in your job search.
Interacting with others is a sure way to get the inside scoop on how a company is performing. Make social connections online and attend industry events where you can discuss company wins and struggles to get a good picture. If your industry is thriving, you'll be hearing about new advancements and collaborations. You may even have potential job offers.
Get the figures. A thriving industry should have plenty of job openings. Search job boards such as Indeed to see how many jobs are being listed and how frequently they're appearing. Research the companies that are offering these jobs to see if they have modern visions that will stay relevant.
Research the competition. If you have your eye on a particular company, look at who is providing the same product or service. This may even reveal companies that are addressing consumer demands more effectively which could shift your decision on where you'd like to work.
Use online tools to identify market trends. If there isn't consumer demand, the industry won't last. Google Trends offer analytics on what people are searching for and buying. Look at companies within your industry. Their year-on-year revenues will reveal whether they're making a profit.
Is your industry being talked about? A thriving industry will appear in the media. There will be new research and publications online. If they're staying relevant, their image and online presence will be regularly updated and diversifying.
If you do all this research and come to the shocking realization that your industry is in fact dying, don't panic. As mentioned, industries are always changing. You have multiple options whether you're new to the workforce or a veteran.
You are not limited to one industry. Your job no doubt sits at an intersection of industries. Do some personal reflection. For graduates - What do you want to achieve with your qualifications? Are you interested in hands-on work or do you want to stay behind the scenes? For those making career shifts - What responsibilities have you had in your previous roles that overlap with less-obvious industries? How can your transferable skills benefit an emerging industry?
Hospitality suffered during the pandemic, but that doesn't mean its workers went jobless. A waiter works in the hospitality industry, but also intersects with customer service, sales, and potentially wine or a specific cuisine. Identifying these intersections will help expand your job search into industries that are sticking around.
Knowing the size of your industry is vital for a job search and continuous career growth. It's important to remind yourself that industries are constantly changing and you and your company should be prepared for these changes to keep up. If things start to crumble, identify your skills and how they intersect with other industries to make calculated career choices.