To finalise your career plan, you will need to decide on the best ways and means to accomplish it. We’re here to help of course, but there are some things only you can do!
For example, you will have to make some choices: target a region, sector of activity, type of company and profession that will help you achieve your plan. Using online resources, let's see how we can identify and pinpoint sectors of activity, jobs and companies that can offer opportunities and contribute to the success of your career plan. 😎
Keep track of job postings and news to closely monitor any changes in your professional sector!
Identify fast-growing sectors and professions
In the UK, all jobs can be divided into 3 main economic sectors:
Primary sector (agriculture and raw materials)
Secondary sector (manufacturing)
Tertiary sector (services)
Employment, activity and opportunities in these three sectors are no longer very well-balanced. For example, 80% of the economy in the UK is service-based!
Next let's talk about sectors of activity. A sector of activity falls into one of the three economic sectors and is made up of companies and organisations that all share the same main activity. These companies produce, use and manage goods or services that are similar or have the same purpose; these companies may be in competition with each other.
For example: BT and Vodafone are both part of the same sector of activity: networks and telecommunications. They are also competitors.
It’s important that you find out more about these different sectors of activity, and that you’re aware of their economic soundness and dynamism, as well as whether there are jobs available (or not) and if so, in which countries or regions. In doing so, you will also be able to see which companies offer jobs that interest you, what typical salaries are and what level of skills are needed.
Sectors and professions undergoing rapid growth
Certain sectors of activity, and therefore some professions, are currently undergoing rapid growth and could be a promising source of employment in the years to come!
Rise of the digital economy
IT and the digital economy are creating employment in all sectors of activity.
These are ‘cross-sector’ jobs, which means they offer a huge choice in terms of business activity or location. They can be found in all companies and organisations: tourism, banking, industry, accounting, HR, marketing and many others.
Many professions are recruiting
The professions that are recruiting change each year, depending on the world economy, so you have to stay steadily informed. At the moment these sectors are of particular interest:
the personal service and online health industries, with hundreds of thousands of jobs due to be created between now and 2020;
commerce, especially e-commerce and information technology; and
engineering (Engineering UK recently reported that 1.8 million new engineers and technicians will be needed 2025).
The skills gap here must be filled by increased investment in STEM education. Depending on your career plan, now may be the time to consider investing in your own training, for example, by following an OpenClassrooms path.
It’s up to you to be curious and surf the web to find the information that interests you, and that will help you assess and ensure the feasibility of your plan as it takes form.
Great places to work
Think hard about the type of company where you would thrive. Test the waters with various employers during your internships, temp jobs or fixed-term contracts.
You may feel at ease in a large company because they are better organised and have more structured career prospects. They also have the means to offer training as well as optimal working environments. However, you may find them to be less flexible and adventurous!
You may also be very happy working in the public sector or for an NGO. The choice is yours.
Working conditions in all companies should also be closely scrutinised. We talk more and more about ‘happiness at work’, and it’s true that we’re more efficient if we enjoy heading to work every morning!
Start keeping track of job postings and news
Now that you’ve identified sectors and professions that interest you, it is important to monitor the market so that you can stay up-to-date with any changes and current job news.
Whether the aim is to:
help you further refine your career plan;
target your job search; or
gain an insight into the industry and how it works,
it is vital to acquire knowledge of the sector and profession to find your way around the job market linked to your career plan.
Further your business insights
For some, it will be useful to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the sector, and for others to follow business news. Today it’s easy to stay abreast of economic trends by spending just 10 minutes a day browsing the news, and with the Internet, you can watch TV News replays whenever it suits you.
You don’t have to become an expert, but it can prove useful to be informed about the world around when you’re interviewing with potential employers/recruitment agencies.
Learn more about the sector that interests you
If you’re a car enthusiast and eager to work in the automobile industry, then find out what the main issues, developments and economic strengths of the sector are and not just the year’s latest models!
In addition, think of sectors that cross over into one another. Take for example the automotive industry, which calls upon many fields from design to engineering.
Meet people at industry-specific trade shows and via social networks; join groups of professionals, volunteers, and enthusiasts, etc. Listen to them talk about their role(s), responsibilities, and working environment. Here are some useful links:
How to keep track of job postings and news
To avoid wasting time, monitor the job market with both the following goals in mind:
collect information about your sector or profession that will be useful in helping you define your career plan; and
find concrete information on which you can take action and find the job of your dreams!
Imagine you’re interested in virtual reality and 3D technology: design your search so that you’ll stay informed of all the developments in this industry:
Which companies are concerned?
Is there a major trade event?
What are the market facts and figures?
What new uses are emerging?
What are the significant opportunities in terms of employment?
What courses of study are essential?
Your monitoring should consist of regularly checking your preferred sources of information.
Here are some steps for setting up an effective monitoring programme:
Create email alerts using key words so you’re notified as soon as new and related information is published;
Set up Google Alerts;
Use an RSS feed reader like Netvibes;
Develop social media and professional network accounts; join interest groups and communities of like-minded professionals.
How to keep track of your monitoring programme
Check job websites to see if the sectors and professions you are focusing on are recruiting, and at what level of responsibility. Set up customised searches on the main job boards:
Identify which business sectors, companies and professions appeal to you;
Join information networks to learn about your sector, meet professionals, assess the feasibility of your career plan, prepare your action plan and explore the job market;
Organise your monitoring programme by:
creating email alerts on job boards,
subscribing to newsletters,
visiting industry-specific trade shows,
joining professional social networks.
The world is your oyster! If you’re going to make the right decisions about your future, it is important to have all the facts at your fingertips. Be open to meeting other people and try to gather as much information as possible.
You will have to make choices, focus and move forward with your career plan. Despite potential moments of doubt, continue to apply the methods covered in this course and trust in yourself. Confidence in yourself and sustained awareness of the changing economy will ultimately enable you to building your career.