During a recession people do a lot of reflecting on their career choices. Is their education up to snuff? Have they stayed current in skill sets? Have they chosen the right profession; the right industry? Is there ANY such thing as job security anymore?
To answer the last question – NO, there really isn’t job security anymore. At least, not the way there was job security, say, for my parents’ generation (both have been with the same employer for 10+ and 25+ years and are lucky at that). One thing that everyone has learned in the past four years is NOT to remain complacent, and not to become too comfortable.
BUT – this isn’t what my blog is about. I’m in a good mood, so I want to take a more positive twist on the subject.
When you break it down, job security is most closely linked with industry.
Buffalo – where I live – is an old steel town. Back in the ‘50’s, when we were pumping steel out faster than you could say “rust belt”, a lot of steel tycoons got VERY rich. As a matter of fact, even the factory workers made a pretty penny. But as the steel industry died in the U.S. (due to many different factors including the rise in popularity of imported cars) so did Buffalo’s riches.
What I’ve learned as a recruiter is that every industry has its moment in the sun, but few industries stay at the top all the time. These industries should be the target of your career aspirations to if you crave stability in this unstable economy.
The best way to test the longevity of your industry is to ask a simple, two fold question:
How important is my company’s product or service to the general populace?
How often do they need to purchase this product or service?
What I’m getting at is working in a commodity-based industry; an industry that appeals to peoples NEEDS. Not their wants.
The industries that best fit this mold are food/beverage, pharmaceutical, medical & banking.
Industries that would SEEM to fit that mold are construction and automotive, but ask yourself the 2nd question – how often do people need to purchase a home or a car? To take it a step deeper, how often do people need to purchase a NEW home or a NEW car?
Just some food for thought. At the end of the day, the industries that supply us with products essential to life typically foster more stability.
As a side note, thankfully Buffalo has found found new centers of industry including banking, healthcare, & medical research.