Where should one look for one’s next job?
The changing work landscape of the last 2 years has caused many to confront their work-life balance and also, question whether their chosen vocation is delivering. For many who work in offices, the low pay, constant stress, and lack of recognition before the onset of the pandemic were compounded by the unceremonial way they were furloughed with no after-thought by their employers.
Having sat at home for months, worrying about paying bills, as well as the overall safety of doing mundane tasks like shopping, many have found themselves questioning whether to return to their former employers now that the main crisis has shifted. Why help out those who, even before the crisis, had little respect for us?
Casting our eyes to the horizon, this could be the right time to look elsewhere for work. But then the question arises, where would we be more appreciated, paid better, and taken care of if, the crisis returns?
A Safer Bet
“Elasticity” is an economic term that looks at how demand is affected by price. We have all seen how, locked up in our homes, not going out, has thrown many industries out of kilter. Take restaurants: until there was a rise in home-delivery services, the combination of ordinances, public fear in general, and a drop in income, damaged that industry. While elasticity refers to how changing a price impacts the demand which would otherwise be unchanged, the counter also exists. If demand drops, then the price will also drop – and when prices drop, the money left for staff is directly affected.
However, some industries are less likely to be affected by price, and more so, to a greater degree, not to suffer direct drops in demands. A classic example is smoking. After all, smokers for the most part are feeding an addiction. And, as the government has proven time and again, even though they add and hike taxes on a packet of cigarettes, while such stifles new consumers, it does not dissuade those already hooked to cut back.
Aside from tobacco, other industries have a similar resilience. One need only look for the tell-tales. In general, they are industries that civilization cannot do without, or will be the last items on the list. We can easily eat at home, or eat less, trade down from a 2 week holiday to a staycation. But can we do without heating? Or more importantly, without energy?
You might think, at first glance, yes this too is elastic as there certainly were fewer cars on the road. Was there none? It is true that demand has reduced traffic, congestion and impacted shipping; and transport companies too laid off staff, they were not as quick as restaurants or offices. And now that the economy is resuming, if anything, the energy supply sector is growing even faster. It too is suffering from early retirement and a lack of recruitment.
Though it too is an industry that is changing as we move to electric vehicles and alternative forms of power generation, the simple fact is that most of our modern world depends upon oil and gas. Looking at the Oil & Gas Careers too.
This sector is capital intensive. That means that it takes a lot of money to set up and then operate a plant. And this is an industry where, due to concerns about safety and the overall amount of investment, there is a great deal of regulation. Where there is regulation, there is job security. While one can simply resort to a skeleton staff to run an office, or switch to home delivery to keep up the payments on a restaurant, letting go of all the serving staff, this is not so easy with a plant. These need to still be maintained and monitored; and more so, there will remain some demand as consumers will forego even cigarettes to keep warm.
Oil & Gas pervades modern life. Aside from the extraction and refineries, the landscape is dotted with distribution points. Establishing a gas station itself is a long-term commitment as such has an environmental impact and is not easily plowed over.
Especially with the advent of the superstore, this sector now competes with traditional small grocers, bakeries, and coffee shops for staple goods like milk, bread, baked goods, and the like. Given that the industry itself is so well funded, these are jobs that are less likely to disappear with the next cyclical downturn simply because the infrastructure is so pervasive.
If you already have a trucker’s license, then transporting fuel is also worth considering. The opportunities found in Energy Transport through the myriad of companies that operate throughout the country can be lucrative as well as accommodating to retain employees.
As with any downturn in an economy, there will be labor cuts and short hours. But when a sector is critical to the lifeblood of a nation, work will persist as will the appreciation. It is not as easy for a government to turn its back on those that form the backbone of the rest of the economy.
So, rather than be in a position where one is expendable, consider making yourself one of those that is indispensable.