Barbara Safani 17 Comments

JobActionDay2009Logo1In honor of Job Action Day, The Career Collective is offering advice and strategies on how job seekers can secure their future in a changed economy. Here are my thought on the topic…

Frequently when I work with job seekers, many think about their skill sets as they relate to a particular function or industry. For example, a finance professional searches for roles in a bank, a creative director scopes out positions with advertising agencies, an editor reviews opportunities at publishing houses, and a lawyer searches for a position in a law firm or large corporation. But the reality is that the competencies that these professionals possess can add great value to emerging and high growth industries. And in order to stay relevant and employable in 2009 and beyond, job seekers will need to find the intersection between their competencies and emerging industries to land successfully in these turbulent times. Here are some facts related to stimulus money and industries trending upward to get you thinking about where the jobs will be in 2009 and beyond.

High Tech, Green Tech, and Sustainability

Close to $30 billion is being allocated for smart-grid related activities, energy efficiency and conservation grants, renewable energy research, grant funding for the manufacturing of advanced battery systems and vehicle batteries, wind, solar, and electricity transmission projects, and alternative fuel.

In addition, many traditional industries are “greening” their products and services. Examples of greening industries include construction, IT, printing, real estate, hospitality, and event planning. And as the green movement continues to gain momentum, new  opportunities for traditional professionals will evolve. For example, as more people begin to support and embrace green industries, the demand for green investor advisory services may also be on the rise and there will be a need for green lawyers to facilitate the legal, regulatory, and government hurdles that businesses will face when implementing a more sustainable workplace.

Science and Energy Funding and Initiatives

Approximately $20B in funding will be used for federal building energy efficiency, fossil energy research and development, and weatherization assistance programs.


Nearly $20B will be designated for transportation and infrastructure funding including investments in public transportation and Amtrak high speed and intercity rail.


Hiring of new employees in upper level government positions has steadily increased from 25% in 1990 to more than 40% in 2008. Reasons for selecting candidates from outside the government sector include the need to fill a skills gap, improve workforce quality, get a fresh perspective, improve workforce diversity, and meet succession planning goals.


People are living longer and more agencies and services are needed to take care of the aging population. Many of the boomers have disposable income for elective surgery, fitness, nutritional counseling, and any products and services that make them feel better and younger.

So regardless of what you do…sales, marketing, technology, administration, operations…there is a way for you to retool your “wares”  to land a job in this new economy.

I encourage you to visit other Career Collective responses by visiting the links below.

Meg Montford:  Job Action Day: Finding Your “MOJO” After Layoff

Debra Wheatman: Plan B from outer space; or what do you have in case your first plan doesn’t work out?

Heather Mundell: Green Jobs – What They Are and How to Find Them,

Erin Kennedy: Cutting Edge Job Search Blueprint

Grace Kutney: Securing Your Career While Navigating the Winds of Change

Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa– Why Our Job Search Advice is the Same but Differen

Gayle Howard: The Enlightened Jobseeker

Laurie Berenson: Making lemonade out of lemons: Turn unemployment into entrepreneurship

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter: You Can Thrive In, Not Just Survive, an Economic Slogging

Rosalind Joffe: Preparedness: It’s Not Just for Boyscouts

Rosa E. Vargas: Are You Evolving Into The In-Demand Professional of Tomorrow?

Dawn Bugni: Your network IS your net worth

Miriam Salpeter: Optimize your job hunt for today’s economy

GL Hoffman: The Life of An Entrepreneur: Is It for You?

Katharine Hansen: Job Action Day 09: His Resume Savvy Helped New Career Rise from Layoff Ashes

Martin Buckland: Job Search–The Key to Securing Your Future Career

Chandlee Bryan: Where the Green Jobs Are:

Heather R. Huhman, Take Action: 10 Steps for Landing an Entry-Level Job,


  1. Thanks Gayle! Stimulus money continues to be a hot topic in the states and Obama’s plan to create 5M green jobs makes a lot of people’s ears perk up!

  2. What great points and a well-articulated outline of “industries trending upward.” By taking some time to explore one’s areas of value outside the standard (or obvious) industries, job seekers can expand their job-search sphere!

    Your pointing out the “reality” that “the competencies that these professionals possess can add great value to emerging and high growth industries,” is important enough for readers to read twice!

    An awareness of emerging opportunities should compel job seekers to dig a bit deeper and broader as to how their skills and talents map to alternative companies, positions and industries, and then market their value to those companies!

    Nice ideas and well written post, Barbara!


  3. Barb,

    This is an outstanding overview of opportunities in the Green Sector–information on how you can align your current skills with a new industry opportunity is also most helpful.

    Job seekers who need help positioning their skills for the Green economy would be well advised to pick up a copy of your book, “Happy About My Resume”!

    All the Best,
    Chandlee Bryan

  4. Yes, so many people cannot ‘see’ or ‘think’ outside a job duty box… It really is astonishing that some cannot see the benefits of having your own successful business, then looking for a management or marketing position can bring. You understand business.

    Today, I think so many people don’t have the time to think about what they have done in the past can translate into what they CAN do for a future employer, be it related 100% or not.

    Great article, really liked it. Gonna check out the rest of your articles!

    And if anyone needs help- holler my way… I’m The Resume Chick… Google Me!

  5. Barbara – It’s so useful for job seekers to see this information – especially if they are looking for a new direction after an unfruitful search. Thanks for the terrific compilation. Hopefully, new jobs will continue to be invented (and funded) and people will be able to find new places to use their skills!

    Thanks for being a member of the Career Collective!

    Miriam Salpeter

  6. I love the title of this post and all the info you have offered Barbara. A lot of job seekers don’t want to necessarily soul-search for their perfect career and would just like to be able to narrow it down a bit by jobs with long-term potential. This list is fabulous and can really help a confused job seeker get more committed to a certain path with confidence!

    Thanks for sharing such useful advice.


  7. J.T.

    Thanks. I agree. And I think that all soul-searching needs to be coupled with a healthy dose of reality. Looking at job growth trends just makes good sense for job seekers. Thanks for reading!

  8. Miriam.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what types of new jobs there are by the time our kids are seeking employment. They will probably be in fields we have never even heard of yet! Thanks for commenting!

  9. Karen,

    I think “thinking outside the box” is required in today’s economy. Thanks for reading!

  10. Chandlee,

    Thanks for the shout out! I think the green jobs movement is very exciting and I have several clients who are very psyched about leveraging their skills to do something positive for the environment. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.

  11. Hi Barb,

    Love this nice, comprehensive list of up-and-coming jobs (and the funding to back them!) for today’s job seeker.

    We are experiencing some of the new “green” technology perks here in Michigan where our economy (and workforce) has been pretty depressed. This is exciting news.

    Nice post!

    Erin Kennedy

  12. The day of having one title or being in one profession for an entire career is just about gone. Students are taking freshman courses now where what they learned they will be obsolete by the time they graduate. The world is rapidly changing and the employee unwilling to adapt will get left behind. Wonderful, well-researched information Barbara. A real eye-opener.

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