by Paul McQueen
As the year draws to a close let’s not look back on what has been a disastrous year for many, but toward a ‘brighter’ future. We will see nurses who have worked beyond the call of duty, leaving in droves next year due to burn-out, whole industries struggling for their existence, a rushed vaccine program rolled out and the conclusion of Brexit. Billionaires who saw their wealth increase by a record 20% and Jeff Bezo who started from his garage struggling to find investors will earn more in one day than most of you will in your life time. See, not all bad news! Certainly not for Jeff.
Despite all the woes in the world, the British government finds itself wrangling with it’s conscience, cutting the UK foreign aid budget by 0.2% (from 0.7% to 0.5%) of GDP. This means that UK aid donations for 2020-21 will be a mere £10bn, at a time when government borrowing skyrockets to a record high because of COVID. Recipients like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yeman and Ethiopia who benefit the most from UK aid will get a little less hand-out next year. Hands up who believes that even half the funds actually go to helping the people and not land in the pocket of some war-lord. The BBC investigation into bob Geldof’s Band-Aid donation showing how funds were used to supply rebels with guns and military hardware says it all. It’s naive to think that giving vast amounts of money to the most corrupt countries in the world will in any way improve the lives of the most vulnerable.
These ‘poor’ countries (Mercedes-Benz have successful showrooms in both Pakistan - mercedesbenzpk.com and Afghanistan) will not be left penniless, because fortunately the UK is not the only country with a foreign aid program. Although, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the UK is the third-largest donor country of humanitarian aid in absolute terms for the year 2019. At a time when the UK is in a dire situation it’s time to consider the vulnerable at home using the £4bn saved to support local businesses. Isn’t that where charity begins?
This is not about those countries that have always been destitute and always will be regardless of how much aid we throw at them. It’s about the UK, America, the EU and all those who have brought stability in the world. While illegal immigrants from countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan… are being housed in 4-Star hotels the homeless remain homeless relying on locals to drop a coin in their cup. As the jobless figures shoot through the ceiling and the job market changes out of all recognition there will be fewer coins going around for the most vulnerable in our own back yard.
The hospitality industry will never fully recover in the next five years. Every day big companies are going bust left right and centre, shedding staff by the thousands. Big names like Arcadia Group, Debenhams after 242 years in business, the largest independent regional airline in Europe - Flybe - and many more all filing for bankruptcy. Worldwide over 40 airlines companies, all of which employed UK staff have gone bust.
It’s the smaller businesses though, that make up the majority of the workforce who are in significant distress. Governments are stepping up to the mark, setting aside vast sums of money to keep their economies afloat avoiding mass unemployment. There is a new world emerging as the gap between the haves’ and the have nots’ widens.
We all work for Amazon.
The discussion of rich vs. poor is not new but for some, it has not been such a disastrous year. It seems that billionaires increased their wealth by record amounts this year – yeah!!! I hear you cry, and we’re all working for Amazon one way or the other. Either because we’re using the platform (spending nearly $1bn per day) or we are unfortunate enough to be employed by them. Jeff Bezo, by all accounts has had a fairly good year. Just to show you how well he’s doing you can watch this video which explains just how much wealth Jeff has accumulated.
What's This Got to do with You?
Mass redundancies, job searching, social distancing, working remotely, digitalization is the new reality. If you’re not already working in a COVID-proof industry, then you soon will be or you will not be working. Are you thinking it might just be a good time to put thoughts of your dream job on hold for a while?
The professions like teachers, lawyers, doctors... are always a safe bet during times of recession, they just might leave you feeling a little uncomfortable during a pandemic. Working for the government is always a safe bet but apart from the obvious, jobs like courier services, funeral services what will trend as safe industries in the coming years?
Industries to avoid
- Hospitality and leisure
- Mining and Oil
- Public transport
- Wholesale & Retail, High Street
Industries doing better
- Delivery and logistics
- Warehousing and storage
It is expected the world will see a surge in spending after this is all over. Industries which are expected to benefit from this are.
- Fitness and health
- Online learning
- Shipping and logistics
- Consumer electronics
You can see the impact of COVID will be significant on your future prospects for many years to come. Some industries will adapt to new ways of working, others will be expanding to meet rising demand, while some will need years to recover.
The hardest hit has got to be those just starting out but many of you are genuinely not happy in your current job and will want to move. If you’re just starting out on your career or looking to move elsewhere in these precarious times then, you’re not alone. The number of people looking for a new job soars by up to 64 per cent in January during normal times.
With so many fighting for so few positions, what’s the best way to land the role you actually want? I would like to share five essential tips about getting ahead in 2021.
Something like half the people working right now are actively searching for something better. The job market might have just been flooded with people made redundant but that doesn’t mean there are not opportunities out there. If you are working and unhappy consider this.
1. Understand exactly what it is making you unhappy.
There are a multitude of reasons why you might want to quit your current job. Make a list of those reasons you want to leave, so you know exactly why you are taking this drastic step. Make a second list of why you should stay, which could outweigh the first list. A job should be thought of like a marriage, it has to be worked on, and it just might be that your dream job is closer than you think without moving to another company. Looking for scope within your current employment should be the first consideration. When the cons outweigh the pros and you feel there is no other option other than leaving, then start planning your career move.
2. Rethink your strategy.
We all know the phrase, “Choose a job that you’re passionate about and you will never have to work.” It might not feel like work when you’re engaged in something you love doing but, take it from me, you will put in more hours and effort when you’re following your passion. Maybe it’s time to rethink how you’re pursuing your career and plan a little further ahead than pondering how to get away from your current employer. Don’t be too hasty, bide your time, because you should make it the year to pursue your Hotlifestyle and find your dream job!
3. What could you become good at?
Asking this question will open you up for more ideas than simply thinking about what you are good at doing today. The job market is buoyant with new opportunities opening up all of the time. A recent report from The World Economic Forum predicts that there will be an increase of available jobs in the future in every industry except production which will become mostly automated. They also predict that there will be job titles of positions available that don’t even exist today. So, the job market is looking bright for those who are prepared to keep learning and ensure that their skill set stays relevant.
Let’s go back to the list of reasons you might want to stay with your current employer. There will be things on that list that you enjoy doing. Expand the list by asking friends and family what type of work they think you might be suited to. It just might introduce you to new ideas that you have never thought about.
How can you know what you would enjoy doing if you’ve never done it?
If you really don’t like the work or the industry you are currently in then, changing tack half way through your career can be a challenge. Prospective employers want to see continuity in your CV and experience in the arena. How can you use what you have learned so far as a basis leading to your dream job? The only way you will find out what work you could enjoy doing is to get out there and try it. After you have built your list of potential jobs, place them in order of preference. Find ways to experiment trying out jobs on your list. If your finances allow it, you could approach a temp agency while you are still employed and see if they could get you off in the right direction. One problem with agencies is that they will often want to push you further in the direction that you have been going in during the last few years. With a little enthusiasm and persuasion though they can be guided to thinking out of the box.
4. No one said it was going to be easy.
Pursuing your dream job will take some planning and effort on your part. The rewards can be enormous. It is my experience that when you really have a passion for your work you readily become an expert, and experts are sort after people.
5. Stop looking for excuses.
If you don’t have the qualifications or skill set to be considered for a position. Make the best investment ever - that is investing in yourself. Invest in transferable skills like analytical reasoning, business analysis and scientific computing. Get the training and gain the specialist knowledge in your chosen field, become fully prepared to master your dream job with ease. Think of ways to make an impact on people working in the industry that interests you. Use social media platforms to make influential friends in companies that you see yourself working in. Find your vocation by experimentation to boldly go forward. When you find what you really want to do then no put down, no hardship and no excuse should get in your way.