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What job opportunities may be found in an economic downturn?

The current economic downturn doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing job opportunities for those that know where to look and how to grab them.

Despite the doom and gloom being reported about the economy, there are some industries that are absolutely thriving. If you are a job seeker, now is the time to look at where you’re at in your career, what you want to do next, and the steps you can take to get there. 

The ABS is reporting the unemployment rate for April climbing to 6.2% from 5.2% in March but there are still huge job opportunities available as companies adapt to the new way of doing business. 

Which industries will boom during the economic downturn following COVID-19?

Innovative businesses such as Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Instagram, Groupon, Kickstarter, Mailchimp and many more were founded during the last economic downturn. We’re already seeing innovation from businesses to help adapt to the new way of working and some industries are thriving.

Virtual communication, data storage and cybersecurity industries

Thousands of businesses had to quickly adapt to remote working as they emptied their offices. On top of this, doctors, vets, mental health and other health professionals were no longer taking face-to-face patients. 

These rapid changes saw an increase in the need and use of virtual communication applications like Zoom, Teams, Skype and even saw Facebook develop Messenger Rooms. With the increased demand for these services from multiple sources, it also comes the need for data storage, and more importantly, cybersecurity. 

Online learning and events industries

Restrictions also saw the move from in-person schooling to online for all levels of education, which saw an increase in the use of online learning platforms like Google Classroom. And as more people stayed home, platforms like Udemy, an online marketplace of courses to help you learn a new skill or upskill, also saw an increase in users as people wanted to learn something new in isolation. 

There was also a huge blow to the event industry as they had to completely shut down. They adapted however with conferences moving online to share the knowledge with a broader audience who may not have been able to attend in person. And individual classes offered by multiple industry experts including cooking with Gordon Ramsay, writing with Dan Brown or acting with Natalie Portman to name a few.

E-commerce, online shopping and delivery industries.

There were the scenes early in the COVID-19 panic when people were flocking to the stores to stock up on goods but as the panic calmed more people opted to shop online. This saw an increase in the demand for stores to move to online or e-commerce models but more need for delivery options.

It wasn’t only Australia Post and other courier companies that saw higher than usual demand for their services, food delivery apps such as UberEats also saw an increase in use. You can even now get select grocery items from McDonald’s using UberEats.

Use this time to your advantage and capitalise on job opportunities

It can be hard to get motivated when you’ve taken a hit in your career but you can use this time to reflect on where you’re at now, where you want to go and how you can get there.

Take stock of your current position

This means more than just updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, look at the skills and experience you have and how it can help you to make your next move. Look outside of just the skills you may have learned on the job — there could be things you’ve learned elsewhere that make you unique and marketable when looking for your next gig.

What do you want to do next?

You know how when you were a kid everyone always asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up? This kind of ends as you start in the workforce, but now is the time to really think about what you want to do.

Take a look at the above industries that will be thriving past this pandemic, see how you can build a career you love in one of these industries. Start small by looking at your current skills, is there anything in there that you could turn into your own side hustle, or to pick up some jobs on platforms like AirTasker, Upwork or Freelancer. 

How to make it happen

Now you have identified where you want your next career move to take you, are you fully equipped to take the leap?

Make use of the time you have now to start doing things that get you on the path to where you want to go. Whether that is learning a new skill, building up your network or even just working on the skills you already have to make sure they are still sharp. 

The federal government has also announced the JobMaker program which will inject $1.5 billion of federal funds into state governments annually to help citizens obtain new skills, training and support industries to create jobs.  

It’s all about finding the positive in what many might see as a negative, use the time you have now to prepare yourself to be the best candidate you can be for any job that you would apply for.