Finding Emerging Job Trends On The Macro And Micro Levels And Everything In Between

Joe Grimm’s Ask The Recruiter for today is spot on (not like it ever isn’t). A reader asked Grimm to elaborate on something he’d said earlier: “I would commit to learning new skills, looking for places where your natural talents intersect with emerging needs.”

But how do you find emerging needs? It’s not enough to just say “print is dead” because clearly, it isn’t yet. Maybe it’s on life support, but newspapers and magazines are still hiring, so you can’t write print off entirely.

Grimm answers with three ways to understand where the industry’s going. His tips are geared at journalists but anyone in media can benefit from these examples.

Read about macro changes in the national economy. Rising demand for health care and education; a decline in manufacturing, and so on. In incredibly simplistic terms, this may mean you want to look for a job as a healthcare reporter rather than as a manufacturing reporter (and this is already playing out, as in just the past week four manufacturing trade publications (Penton’s American Machinist and Welding Design & Fabrication and RBI’s Manufacturing Business Technology and Industrial Distribution) have either closed completely or gone Web-only). We notice that RBI’s hospitality titles, serving another growing industry, have yet to close.

Second strategy, from Grimm: follow the job boards and see what is being posted. Look at job titles. They’re different than this time last year, Grimm says.

Third: open up those postings and read what the qualifications or job requirements are. If every posting asks for social media experience, you know what’s likely to be hot in the coming months. If postings ask for copy editing and design skills and you’re a copyeditor by training, better borrow that copy of InDesign and get cracking.

Fourth (our addition): Keep reading industry blogs. Like this one, of course, but also check out anyone who’s covering the industry you’re in. Read voraciously but selectively (otherwise you’ll never have time to get any work done).

And don’t worry too much about trends, as not all companies are at the same point; some are more forward-looking and some are more traditional.