Employees are itching to move and progress. Gone are the days of working the same job for 15, 20, or 30 years straight. Today’s workers desire career progression and opportunities to stretch their skills, with younger workers including Gen Z and millennials more likely to prioritize career progression and development when considering their next job opportunity, than any older generation. Approximately 76% of employees are seeking opportunities for career expansion, a Zippia study revealed, while another 2019 survey showed that 86% would switch jobs if offered the chance to progress at another employer.
And to make the situation even more favorable, the opportunities available are endless. Today there are several high-growth industries with multiple career paths and a strong future outlook including technology, healthcare, science, logistics, and fitness. The challenge exists in navigating the plethora of opportunities and knowing how and where to find the one that is right for you, as you take the next step in your career journey.
If you’re looking to challenge yourself this coming year and are ready to embrace a new opportunity to spearhead your career growth, here are five easy ways you can identify career and job opportunities and expedite your career potential:
1. Study Trends
There are two main types of career trends: the global kind (one which has worldwide impact and can trickle into affecting your job or industry) and industry-specific trends, which are smaller-scale and are limited to changes in that industry alone. It’s important to identify both of these trends and keep pace with them.
For instance, we already know that technology is a rapidly evolving industry; but with AI creating global impact, this is something you need to consider even if you don’t work in tech because it could have major significance to your job and its future. Study labour market information, conduct targeted interviews with people in various industries and roles, and do some digging and analysis online to understand what’s moving in the world of work. Through conducting this research you can identify opportunities to upskill and jump in early while labor demand is high.
2. Identify Market Gap
Become eagle-eyed and put your creative problem-solving skills to work. Analyze an industry as an entrepreneur would, and ask yourself,
“What could this industry be missing that I could bring to the table?”
“What areas are not receiving enough due attention or are currently untapped?”
“With the wealth of my years of experience, varied expertise, and unique skill set, what unique contributions can I make to the economy from my vantage point?
3. Seek Mentorship
Actively seek out a mentor in your job, preferably someone who is more senior or experienced in your industry and has already navigated a significant portion of their career. They will be able to advise you on various career paths you can explore and offer you valuable insights from their personal experience.
Online career assessments are invaluable tools that enable you to explore career opportunities aligned with your core values, personality, working preferences, and skills.
Consider combining online assessments with getting the assistance of a coach. The right career coach can be a useful resource as they will guide and empower you towards your goals, and through their input and expertise you will be able to uncover your hidden talents, locate emerging job and career opportunities, and think outside the box.
Networking is proven to yield exponential benefits for career growth and new job opportunities. In fact, according to a 2022 survey, 18% of professionals credit finding their job to reaching out to their network directly without ever needing to go through the standard process, 24% were headhunted due to their online personal branding or a network referral, and 55% believe that referrals made a significant difference in getting them to the job interview stage.
Never underestimate the power of your network and what jobs and career opportunities might be available when you reach out and build relationships with the right people.
However, it’s important to remember to network with the right people, those who can contribute in some way in adding value to your life and career. Think strategically about adding a variety of people to your network including industry-specific recruiters, decision-makers, and other professionals who work in organizations similar to yours.
Your career knows no limits except those you impose on yourself. Through studying trends, identifying market gaps, seeking mentorship, self-assessing, and getting the help of a coach while tapping into your network, you can surpass even your own expectations and enjoy a successful career, one that is always evolving and increasing your earning potential.