Where to Refocus Your Career
Have you thought about where to refocus your career for the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery? As the vaccine rollout takes hold throughout the world there will be an economic recovery. The vaccine rollout will be very uneven around the world and the United States. Therefore, there will be winners and losers exposed in the economic recovery.
Some of you will have to refocus your career into high-growth areas.
In this post, I want to discuss the ideas that were put forth by Buring Glass Technologies in their report, After the Storm – The Jobs and Skills that will Drive the Post-Pandemic Recovery.
I would recommend you download the full report and give it a thorough read after you have finished reading this post.
I have been writing about the disruption COVID-19 has caused for several months. Check out the previous posts here:
- How to Make the Disruption Induced by COVID-19 a Competitive Advantage
- How to Become Relevant Again in Your Career Post COVID-19
- Why Experience is Dead and Being Relevant is Far More Crucial
- Are You Willing to Embrace the Disruption with Excitement and Enthusiasm?
- How to Maneuver Your Career in a Crazy Time of Disruptive Innovation
- How Have You Been Successful in Dealing with Industry Disruption?
- Are You Prepared for the Extinction of a Steady Paycheck?
- Why and How to Establish a Growth Mindset for Thriving in 2021?
The report discusses rapid growth in 5 economies which are as follows:
Check out the graphic on their predictions for growth.
No matter whether you think this will be a U, V, W, or a K-shaped recovery we will recover from this black elephant event. A black elephant event is defined as:
A cross between “a black swan” — an unlikely, unexpected event with enormous ramifications — and the “elephant in the room” — a looming disaster that is visible to everyone, yet no one wants to address.”
The authors of the report project that a range of 15.5 million to 18 million new jobs will be created over the next 5 years. That is a large number of jobs that will not match the jobs lost in 2020. This will be a seismic shift in the labor market.
The section of the introduction that I found most insightful was as follows:
The dual nature of the crisis will also shape the recovery. Natural disasters force society to rebuild; there is no choice. But recessions force businesses to rethink. Employers will want to make sure they avoid making the same mistakes again. They reconsider how to be more efficient, how many workers they really need and at what cost, and how far technology can enhance or replace human labor. This rethinking has been one factor behind the “jobless recoveries” from the past few recessions.
The pandemic has every company rethinking about how they want to operate going forward.
Let’s discuss each sector and help you decide if you want to refocus your career either short or long term in any of these economies.
The Readiness Economy
The report says the following about the readiness economy:
The pandemic has brought into high focus our state of health care readiness. But it has also exposed flaws in our infrastructure, cybersecurity, insurance, and a range of other fields that provide social resilience. Roles like cybersecurity experts and engineers will be in demand, but so will project managers and other organizers of work.
There are 4 sectors to the readiness economy:
- Public Health
The authors predict that infrastructure and cybersecurity could be the biggest beneficiaries of the COVID-19 recovery.
Most of these sectors are included in the latest infrastructure package that the Biden administration is proposing.
Are you going to refocus your career around the readiness economy?
The Logistics Economy
The report says the following about the logistics economy:
Many of the fundamental concepts behind our supply chains, such as global sourcing and “just-in-time” manufacturing, buckled under the pressure of the pandemic. In addition to increased demand for advanced logistics skills and growth in advanced manufacturing as critical commodity production is “re-shored,” the Internet of Things will become more critical to creating chains that are both efficient and resilient.
The pandemic has exposed how fragile the logistics economy has become. Companies are now re-evaluating their just-in-time logistics and considering just-in-case strategies.
There are 5 sectors to the logistics economy:
- Industrial Big Data Analytics
- Internet of Things (specifically in Supply Chain Management)
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management
- Manufacturing of Pharma
- Manufacturing of PPE and Medical Equipment
I have discussed at length in previous posts how the supply chains have been pushed to the brink. All you need to do is look at the chaos being created by the ship Ever Given stuck in the Suez canal.
Are you going to refocus your career around the logistics economy?
The Green Economy
The report says the following about the green economy:
Even before the Biden administration’s new emphasis on climate policy, the nation’s energy system was slowly but steadily shifting to renewables. Ambitious climate goals and incentives are likely to speed the shift.
Prior to moving to Mexico 3 years ago, I lived in Texas for over 40 years. As much as the state is home to a lot of oil and gas, I have watched the transformation of renewable energy. The wind farms in west Texas are incredible.
There are 5 sectors to the green economy:
- Environmental Scientists, Engineers, and Technicians
- Renewable Energy
- Fuel Cell and Nuclear
- Pollution Removal, Waste Management, and Recycling
- Natural Resouce Conservation
I have seen firsthand some of these changes. I know a gentleman who I mentored who went back to a community college to become a wind farm technician. The Tesla gigafactory that is being constructed in my old home town Austin, Texas, will have a huge impact on the adoption of electric vehicles.
Are you going to refocus your career around the green economy?
The Remote Economy
The report says the following about the remote economy:
In at least some fields and roles, the shift to remote work forced by the pandemic is likely to be permanent. A growing dependence on data, software, and networks will drive change, while eventually artificial and virtual reality will play a larger role.
This should come as no surprise that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of so many technologies.
There are 5 sectors to the remote economy:
- Networking Systems
I worked for a predecessor to Zoom. It is simply amazing that so many of the technological advancements that were made in just the last 5-10 years made this last year possible. This is everything from Netflix forcing backbone network providers to reconfigure their networks for streaming video to the proliferation of e-Learning platforms that made the move to online education possible.
Are you going to refocus your career around the remote economy?
The Automated Economy
The report says the following about the remote economy:
The pandemic won’t slow down the adoption of automation and artificial intelligence—if anything it will accelerate the trend. Employers will prioritize automation over hiring back low-value workers. Jobs developing—and driving—automation will thrive.
We may finally see food ordering apps or kiosks from major fast-food chains so that I never have to speak with a human being. An acceleration of the adoption of technologies that eliminate the checkout lines in stores.
There are 5 sectors to the automated economy:
- AI and Robotics in Health Care
- AI Finance and Investment
- AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Machine Learning
- Computer Vision and Autonomous Driving
- Robotics and Process Automation
There will be a lot of low and middle-skill jobs eliminated by this economy. This has been predicted for a long time but the pandemic has accelerated the adoption.
Are you going to refocus your career around the automated economy?
Are You Going to Refocus Your Career Around One of These Economies?
Now is the time to start thinking and then acting to refocus your career around one of these growth sectors of the economy.
The recovery that will occur in the second half of 2021 and into 2022 will happen. Will it be a U, V, W, or a K-shaped recovery? I cannot predict how this will play out but we will have a recovery.
Are you prepared?
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