Ghosts of careers past, present and future

If the lead-up to the Christmas period has you upsizing your coffee and counting down the weeks, days, hours … then maybe you should take the time this holiday season to consider whether you’re in the right career for you.

Bah, humbug you say?

I’m not saying be frivolous this Festivus. Sometimes the end of the year can make even the perfect job pale in comparison to the promise of some time off with the family. But if the thought of going back makes you want to hide under the pile of discarded wrapping paper, maybe it’s time to give up the ghost.

Ebenezer Scrooge is no stranger to ghosts. While his ghosts showed him the true meaning of Christmas, why not use this time of year to look at the true meaning of work and all the opportunities you might be overlooking through the sour grimace of your job dissatisfaction.

Come with us as we take a stroll through the job trends of the past, present and future.

The Muppets ghost of Christmas past
The Muppets ghost of Christmas past

2003: The ghost of careers past

In 2003, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed that the retail trade dominated the labour market, employing 15 per cent of Australian workers. This bumped out the previous top employer, the manufacturing industry. Not only did manufacturing jobs decrease in the lead-up to 2003, but the same goes for other resources-based industries such as agriculture, forestry and fishing, and mining also showed a drop in employment opportunities.

The 2003 trend showed that service-based industries were taking over from the previously dominant commodity-based roles. Property and business services experienced a significant increase in available jobs as well as health, accommodation, cafes and restaurants.

The Muppets ghost of Christmas present
The Muppets ghost of Christmas present

2013: The ghost of careers present

This year, there was a range of significant developments that could be seen in the Australian labour market. One notable change was the effect of increasing technologies on the job market, according to the federal government’s Australian Jobs 2013 overview.

The biggest growth industries for employment in the years leading up to 2013 were healthcare and social assistance, mining, professional, scientific and technical services, and education and training. Collectively, these categories added 400,000 jobs to the Australian job market.

The Muppets ghost of Christmas future
The Muppets ghost of Christmas future

2023: The ghost of careers future

Fairfax Media recently released an employment forecast suggesting the Australian job market will swell by an additional 215,000 jobs in the next year. This upwards trend is likely to continue as job analysts predict continuing growth for overall employment figures over the coming decade.

With the increase in technology and rapidly changing trends, by 2023 there will be job categories that don’t even exist yet. However, education and training is likely to continue to be a steady employer, as we all need to begin – and continue – our learning journeys, especially as education levels keep rising. Meanwhile, economic and business forecaster IBISWorld tips the following lucrative industries as the ones to watch: dating services, holiday houses, flats and hostels, smartphone app development, painting and decorating services, and tiling and carpeting services.

So before you rush to the window and ask the next passer-by what day it is, take some time to reflect on your own career journey. If you feel like your current career path is turning you into a Scrooge, there are plenty of exciting job opportunities ahead. All you need is a new outlook, a smart resume … and a little Christmas spirit.

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