The great thing about the world we live in now is that it’s starting to shift away from the four-year college degree, 20-year career model.
When I began my career in the agile space 10 years ago, I was one of only two coaches at the company I worked for. In a few years, the business grew and I was fortunate to be placed into a leadership position from the start.
Not everyone has this type of experience with their profession. When you look at established fields like marketing or engineering, you’re never going to be first when it comes to leadership roles. There’s going to be an entire stack of people on top of you.
The great thing about the world we live in now is that it’s starting to shift away from the four-year college degree, 20-year career model. Now, people are spending six months learning the skills they need to score positions with new companies.
Small, but fast-growing fields are establishing opportunities that impact this switch.
Rapidly-expanding industries are expected to generate strong profits and create the most jobs over the next decade. As a result, they’re poised to open the opportunity for people looking to make a career change.
Here are four ways you can find the perfect fit with an up-and-coming company:
1. Look at job boards to spot trends.
One of the easiest ways to identify an up-and-coming industry is to do research.
Look at job boards frequently—at least once a month. Notice if you see any developments over time. You’ll be surprised at how many job openings you see. That’s a clear indicator of a growing industry. You might even be able to generate your own statistics.
You could tell yourself, “Oh. Here’s the first time I’ve seen this title. Let me see what happens next month. What happens a month after that? What happens six months from now?”
The more jobs that are popping up within an industry, the more ample opportunity for career growth.
2. View Linkedin’s Global Trends Report.
Linkedin is another great resource for identifying these small, fast-growing industries.
In January, they released a comprehensive report on the most promising jobs of 2019 based on the number of job openings and year-over-year growth.
Someone looking for career advancement can use Linkedin’s report to find their next position.
Once you identify industries and companies that interest you, it’s also a good idea to check out employee profiles on Linkedin. You’ll be able to see company progress through their network as well as how they are rewarding employees in the form of promotions. When you see a change occurring every one to three years, that’s a good sign there are plenty of opportunities to advance your career.
3. Talk to as many people as possible.
Today, we have so many ways to connect with others thanks to social media. The pool of people with which you can network is, quite literally, boundless.
It might seem pretty straightforward, but get out there and talk to as many people as possible to learn more about a fast-growing industry.
Identify a company you would like to work for, then reach out to the hiring manager or a current employee and ask them for a few minutes of their time. You can say something like, “Hi Susan! I’m interested in this field and would like to learn more about it. Can I chat with you for 10 minutes?”
The response rate to outreach like this can be about one percent. While that might not seem promising, you’ll find that about one out of every 100 people will say yes if you apply this technique regularly. And it only takes one connection to get your foot in the door.
Doing so takes both initiative and courage, but the potential payoff can be huge. It can help you make connections, learn about the industry, build relationships, and land a job.
4. Offer your time for free.
Sometimes, you need to give a little in order to get something in return.
So many people get hung up on what they “deserve” when it comes to a job that they don’t stop to think about what they’ll gain long-term. And a negative outlook never leads to positive change.
In a fast-growing field, the money will be there very quickly. Don’t get hung up on not being paid the ideal amount right from the start. The real risk is saying “no” and not getting in on the ground floor of something that can take your career to new heights.
That means going to employers of companies within these industries and asking them where they need help. Offer your services for whatever someone is able to pay you—or even do the work for free.
Get in there and do the work for $15 an hour (or zero) and use it as a way to open doors down the road. When you do this you’re getting two things in return: experience and a testimonial.
Professional growth is a big decision—it’s rarely easy. But joining a fast-growing industry you can get in on the ground floor of a company that’s poised to do big things. And when the industry and company take off, so will your career.