Whole Industries will Die

As in nature, so in business. Companies come and go. Industries are born, mature, and die out. But what is stunning is the pace of these changes.

Will your industry or job even exist in five years? Will it die? Let’s reflect.

Being an engineer at, say, General Motors specializing in transmissions or fuel injection used to be a good, secure job, but as that whole industry turns its attention to electric vehicles, these two specialist functions are frankly no longer necessary. Remember the fellow who once brought milk to your front door? What about the nice guy who reset the pins at your bowling alley? Or consider my great grandfather who delivered ice in horse-drawn carts in Chicago before refrigerators put the company out of business.

The Economist summarizes the impact of Covid-19 in their “World in 2021” issue by quoting an expert from McKinsey: “Recent data show that we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of eight weeks.”

We all probably now understand how retail has moved significantly toward shopping on-line, education has migrated toward remote learning, business works more and more from home, and even medicine is embracing tele-health. Larger companies have tended to fare better because of their deeper pockets than smaller ones though government support masks some of these changes for now. Restaurants, amusement parks, movie theaters, cruise lines… these industries suffer correspondingly because they struggle to translate their income generation to a virtual world.

So where does this lead?

What is the new normal? Researching this blog I stumbled across an interesting perspective—a prediction of the most threatened industries in the next 20 years from lovemoney.com:

  • Telemarketing
  • Cinema
  • Print Media
  • Staffed Retail
  • Paralegal and Legal Research
  • Accountancy
  • DVD Manufacturing
  • Travel Agencies
  • Library and Information Services
  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Photofinishing
  • Tobacco
  • Apparel Knitting
  • Frontline Banking
  • Instore Bookselling
  • Postal Service

Whether this is an accurate prediction, only time will tell, but the fact is that industries do die out and you will want to carefully evaluate your future prospects not only by role, but company, and industry as you contemplate your professional future.

Remember: any road will take you there if you don’t know where you are going.

That is why our career change process begins by helping clients to reflect on their personalities, current life circumstances, and future aspirations—we call this the Clarity Program©. In many ways, it is not where you are in life that matters; it is where you want to go, so just getting a new job to replace one you have lost, for example, is being exceptionally short-sighted, particularly now.

We place a six-member team at each client’s disposal to help navigate the necessary Targeting, Packaging (Personal Branding), Market Access, Preparation/Offer Negotiation, and On-boarding stages of the process that has helped more than 150 executive clients land jobs since Covid-19 became serious in April 2020.

Here’s what one recent client had to say:

“The Clarity coaching program was hugely beneficial for me. The insights I gained were built upon and clarified further as I advanced through the sessions and was able to discuss openly with my career coach. This helped solidify what I want and how I want to get there. Impactful! I wish I had done this many years ago and will continue to revisit this process in the future. [Lindsay Streich, December 2020]

That’s right. Even job-hunting is different than it used to be and that is why you may want to hire an expert to help you—one who has helped literally thousands of executives clarify their career objectives and thrive in adversity. Contact the Barrett Group today.

We make it our job to help you find yours.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

Read next: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

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