“There’s going to be a shortage of managers in my field,” Marilyn says, bouncing with optimism. “It was in tonight’s paper…”
Hmm… Let’s read between the lines. Will Marilyn’s city experience the shortage? Are there unwritten rules about who gets hired? Will companies create incentives for their boomer retirees to remain? Or will they try to attract new hires?
And how long will this shortage last? Brad entered grad school when there were 5 openings for every new graduate in his field. Three years later, the ratio was 5 applicants for every opening.
Your challenge: Develop your unique opportunity forecast.
(1) Create your own research program.
The best career coaches and consultants advisors will give you tips on researching specific opportunities, not just raw advice.
(2) Invest resources to learn transferrable skills and become marketable within your own field. These days, marketabililty is the new security.
(3) Keep your Plan B handy.
Your Plan B might be as simple as a stash of cash or a willingness to work outside your field. You might take courses in entrepreneurship and internet marketing while you are still employed. See my ebook on money management for life transitions.
Finally, play to your strengths.
Avoid choosing a direction because “it’s growing” or “there’s a need.” Square pegs just don’t last long in round holes…and sometimes they get squashed when they try.
Right now we have a shortage of nurses and other health care professionals. But I’ve met nurses who deserted the field to become textbook sales reps and building managers. You’ll find doctors running internet businesses and lawyers driving trucks.
Conversely, I keep meeting people whose interests and talents opened doors they would never have found if they just followed a play-it-safe strategy.