Job Trends in the New Year

For those planning to seek a new job in the New Year, where are the best places to look?  It is hard to identify a specific industry since companies within the same industry are recovering at different rates.  There are some key areas for opportunities in the year ahead:

Small and Mid-Sized Companies – It is easy to assume that there are more jobs in the largest companies but in reality there is more hiring in the small to mid-sized companies and these are the organizations that will be leading the recovery.  Do your research to identify smaller organizations in your target industry and location.  Smaller companies are often looking for a broader set of skills.  They don’t hire someone to do one very specific thing, they need strategic thinkers who can grow and change with the company.  Project management, strong communications skills, the ability to work across functional areas and the ability to change directions quickly are critical in this environment.

Supply Chain – Jobs in this field continue to be hot.  Whether it is in procurement, operations, transportation or logistics, these skills are in demand.  While once found only in manufacturing environments, we are seeing a significant increase in demand for supply chain knowledge and experience in financial services, healthcare, retail, and distribution and technology organizations.  Often effective management of the supply chain is one of the few areas for companies to still identify savings and efficiencies.

Marketing – In many organizations, the marketing staff was hard hit during the economic downturn.  We are seeing many firms investing in their marketing functions again.  Skills in the new technologies are critical – web marketing, social media, etc.  Product management and brand management are also critical needs.  We are seeing an increased demand for marketing analytics for market research, consumer insights and timely information to make business decisions.

Finance – The biggest demand we are seeing for finance professionals in the corporate finance world.  Companies of all sizes need to close the books every month, plan, implement and monitor the budget, analyze the results and support business decisions.  Strong financial skills are still in strong demand.

Across functions we are seeing increased demand for strong analytical skills, communications skills, project management, working with teams and negotiation and persuasion skills.  You often need people in other parts of the organization to do something in order to meet your deadlines without having any authority over them.  Negotiation and persuasion skills can make or break your success in many organizations.

The New Year is also the perfect time to commit or recommit yourself to your search.  Here are some suggested resolutions.

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