“Can you suggest my next career step and the next ‘hot’ industry?”

Question: Hi, Alan. I have a question about my career.

I am a management graduate and have six years of experience in talent acquisition in India. I am now working as an executive recruiter in one of the group of companies in the Indian city of Chennai. I am happy as a recruiter, and love this job.

But what would you suggest next for my career? Should I stick to being a recruiter and grow toward being a Recruitment Manager – Head of Talent Acquisition, or should I change my profile to be a more generalist role? Personally, I love the generalist role rather than confined to recruitment alone.

Should my next steps be Vertical Training, Communications Coach, or perhaps Employee Engagement?

Any suggestions as to which industry would be the best prospect would also be appreciated. Which is going to be “on fire?” Thanks. 

Chennai, India

Answer: Hello, Barada. Your career seems to be going well, and your questions are really great ones. Personally, I enjoy working with clients on issues of Career Strategy, and my own practice has become more and more that of a Career Strategist. 

a. Good Counsel requires personal knowledge. When I counsel clients, I first spend hours getting to know them, including their personal lives, their workplace passions and dreams, and their career goals. It’s only then that I feel I can properly counsel them on Career Strategy. With you, I do not have that opportunity to get to know you. For this reason, I can only respond to your questions in a very general way. Please excuse how general these responses are, but “A doctor cannot diagnose a patient he or she has not examined.”   

b. Only You can choose your best Career Goal(s). A person’s career goals are ideally the result of very careful personal choices, based primarily on personal values. To my mind, these goals are almost as personal as whether to become a parent, who to become married to, who to become a partner with, and where to live. The important thing is that your choice of Career Goals is carefully considered and deliberate, not in response to happenstance or whim. I will never say that compensation is not an important part of the reasons to take or not take a job, but I do know that money, alone, is not usually the reason my clients are happy or not happy with their jobs and careers. I try to help my clients choose their next career step and ultimate goals; I can’t make those decisions for them.

To review a newsletter I’ve written about “Employment Values” [click here].

c. Follow your Passion(s), and the path to your Goal will appear. Your email says “I am happy as a recruiter” and “I love the generalist role.” Those two statements indicate to me that you are aware of what inspires you, and what the path to your goal perhaps should be. Human nature is such that we all do better those things we enjoy. Continue to consider the things that you enjoy, the roles that you enjoy, why you enjoy those things, and you’ll be doing yourself a great favor. Should you migrate your work toward Vertical Training, Communications Coaching, or Employee Engagement? Each is an exciting “sub-field,” potentially quite satisfying, and capable of making you both “rich and famous.” At least right now, I think they’re all popular among employers; which is “most popular” to you? 

d. The “Human Capital” you develop to “sell” is best unique and needed. Employment is a business relation in which the employee sells his or her “human capital” to his or her employer. As a general matter, I believe that being a “generalist” is not as rewarding for an employee as is being a “specialist.” Sure, generalized training, experience and knowledge is valuable, but as a general matter, specialized skills, abilities and advantage will give you more career success and security.

e. No one can predict the next “hot” industry, but we can look to current trends for clues. If I knew the next “hot” industries, I’d also probably know next month’s winning lottery ticket number. Of course, no one can tell you that.

But here’s eleven current trends that point to what may well be next year’s and future years’ “hot” industries: (i) increased business incorporation and adaptation of the internet; (ii) the growing demand for better medical care, especially among older people; (iii) growth of business exploitation of social networking; (iv) growing concern for adaptation to wider variance in weather conditions; (v) enhanced methods of information security; (vi) increasing need for natural resource and energy management; (vii)  increased competition for protein foodstuffs and potable water supply; (viii) concerns for more effective national and public security; (ix) greater focus on the adequacy of public infrastructure; (x) the need for more effective educational and vocational education; and (xi) increased globalization of all business, cultural and personal lives. Chances are – but only chances – that these point to tomorrow’s “hot” industries. And chances are that here you’ll find the greatest future opportunities. That said, many of these areas of concern and need did not seem so pressing just a few years ago. 

 f. Stay close to your “Employment Values.” Use these as your compass when considering your goals, the objectives and path to reach your goals, as well as how you should develop and direct your “human capital.” What you believe is important in your life – family, good deeds, honesty, health, the environment, or otherwise – is what should guide you. I am certain that, if you do so, your later years will be ones not of “winter,” but of “harvest.”  

If you are interested in learning more about Sklover Career Strategy consulting services [click here].

Best, Al Sklover

P.S.: If you would like to speak with me directly about this or other workplace-related subjects, I am available for 30-minute, 60-minute, or 120-minute telephone consultations. (Even 5-minute “Just One Question” calls). Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can be accommodated.

© 2011 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

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