Mary-Ann Owens and Associates

Resilience Blog

Reaching your goals with Grit

For Career Success Ride a Trend

For Career Success Ride a Trend

I remember coaching a geologist client a few years ago. He saw the oil industry suffering from multiple layoffs. He decided to take a risk and took a one-year data science master’s degree. His foresight and risk-taking paid off. He switched fields early in the data science lifecycle, during the introductory time frame. This ensured he was employed quickly after completing this degree.

Many people hang onto their jobs in dying industries and professions. Careers and industries have life cycles, just like products/businesses do. If an industry is in the decline phase of its life cycle, there will continue to be declining employment levels. In Alberta, for instance, oil and beef are declining industries. Sustainable energy and plant-based foods are growing/trending industries.

I understand why people hang on. They may have invested a lot of money, time and themselves in a certain industry. They may not want to give all that up. They may feel they don’t have the capacity or energy to invest into a new field.

Luckily, everyone is proficient at skills that can be transferred to other fields. One needs to explore what skillset growing industries require and compare that to their current skills. Let’s go back to the geologist example. Geologists have developed complex analytical skills. Data scientists also require this skill.

A geologist can adapt this skillset analyzing new datasets and utilizing software that the data scientist field requires of them. The learning curve would not be as steep for geologists because of their transferable skill.

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