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  • Leslie Juvin-Acker

What To Do If Your Industry Is Declining or Dying

This is a list of the top ten industries that are in economic decline or dying out. If you hear rumors of layoffs or an impending industry crisis, it’s better to be over prepared than to be left with nothing when layoffs strike. Here are some ways to be proactive about your dying industry so you can make a smooth transition to a different one.

1. Department stores: Projected to lose 10.2 percent of the 1.56 million jobs they had in 2008. 2. Semiconductor manufacturing: Projected to lose 33.7 percent of the 432,000 jobs it had in 2008. 3. Motor vehicle parts manufacturing: Projected to lose 18.6 percent of its 544,000 jobs. 4. Postal service: Projected to lose 13 percent of the 748,000 jobs it had in 2008. 5. Printing and related jobs: Projected to lose 16 percent of its 594,000 jobs. 6. Cut-and-sew apparel manufacturing: Projected to lose 57 percent of its 155,000 jobs. 7. Newspaper publishers: Projected to lose 24.8 percent of its 326,000 jobs. 8. Mining support jobs: Projected to lose 23.2 percent of its 328,000 jobs. 9. Gas stations: Projected to lose 8.9 percent of its 843,000 jobs. 10. Wired telecom: Projected to lose 11 percent of its 666,000 jobs.

Change Industries, Not Career Just because you were laid off or are tired of working in your current industry, you are not obligated to start over in a new industry. Many professionals believe they must to start over, typically meaning an entry level position. This tactic and lack of self confidence isn’t a great approach especially if you have a number of financial responsibilities that rely on your current income level.

Refocus your skills and experience on a new industry instead.

Get Additional Training If you know your technology skills are lacking, take evening or weekend courses to improve your technical strength. There are classes available online and within your community for a variety of experience levels.

Getting additional training can help you keep your job, reducing your chances of a layoff. If you do lose your job, your resume will display proof that you’re proactive about your career.

Research Other Industries Take a look at the most recent Occupational Handbook to discover the other types of jobs that fit your personality and professional skills. Read through various trade books and magazines to get a feel of the industry in question. Interview friends and family members in differing fields to better understand their jobs. If you can, spend a day shadowing them to get first hand knowledge.

Identify the industry leading companies and learn more about them. Figure out how they are changing their industries for the better and learn what types of employees they hire, too. Adjust yourself accordingly. Take new industry knowledge with you and use it during interviews. Interviewers are sure to notice your knowledge of the field and relevant news developments.

Identify Your Skills There are three types of skills: Adaptive Skills, Transferable skills, and Technical skills.

1. Adaptive skills are skills you use every day to adapt to a variety of situations. Some of them also could be considered part of your basic personality. Examples of adaptive skills that employer’s value include getting to work on time, honest, enthusiasm, and interacting well with others. 2. Transferable skills are those that you can take from job to job, regardless of industry. Transferable skills include communication skills, negotiation skills, accounting skills, and so forth. 3. Technical skills are relevant to your specific job, such as welding, coding, giving shots, and so forth.

Identify and list your skills to see which can be taken to a new job and industry and those that should be left out of your resume. You might even discover that you have many skills that transfer over to a new industry.

Take a look at your personal interests and activities for marketability When changing industries, personal interests and activities can play a major part of your transformation. If you’ve been an accountant in the automotive industry for fifteen years, but have spent your weekends visiting art museums and volunteering in the art community, you could highlight these interests and relevant experiences for an accounting or financial management position within an art-based non-profit organization.

Get Assistance From A Third Party If you are experiencing work related anxieties, talk to a career counselor who can objectively help you analyze your work situation and can give you the proper help to make an effective career move.


Leslie, Inc. offers solutions for finding happiness through one-on-one coaching, mindful leadership retreats, and digital products. If you’re ready to GET HAPPY, check out Leslie’s guide packs. For more tips on achieving your state of happiness, sign up for Leslie, Inc’s weekly newsletter.

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