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March 31, 2009


Our first prediction is possibly the biggest one of all: There will still be a job market in 2009. Tough call to make right now, we know, but even a crisis spells opportunity of one kind or another. And in a shrinking job market, knowing where to look is more important than ever. Here are our top picks for 09 (plus a couple of areas we think are less-than-likely to be open to new hires):

1)The government – According to some estimates, President-Elect Obama has more than 7,000 jobs to fill in his new administration, not to mention all the positions created in other industries if he keeps his infrastructure-building promises

2)Legal issues – Boon times for bankruptcy lawyers is one to file under "sad but true," as the full extent of the downturn begins to bite at both corporate and personal levels. Litigators, meanwhile, are going to be in demand as shareholders and financial institutions slug it out over who is to blame and who should pay for the consequences of the financial meltdown. The jury remains out, however, for matrimonial lawyers: questions remain over whether financial strife—one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce—will lead to an increase in incidences of divorce, or to more couples staying together to avoid a costly separation.

3)Oilrigs – OK, so the price of oil has plummeted of late on lower demand, but there's still an acute shortage of experienced rig workers out there, and oil companies are willing to pay good money for them, as well as anyone with an appropriate level of engineering know-how.

4)Goldman who?—Given the increased regulation and change in status of the two front runners on the street formerly known as Wall (not to mention the thousands of job cuts), names such as Moelis, Perrella Weinberg, and Centerview will replace Goldman and Morgan as the first choices of future dealmakers with dollar $ign$ in their eyes looking to break into investment banking.

5)Couch time – Not some tasteless reference to finally being free to catch up on The View (well, not entirely), we're predicting a big upswing in business for those with an ear for the woes of others. And that's not just psychiatrists: career counselors and those who proffer any kind employment advice look set to be in for a busy 2009. Indeed, The New York Times has already reported on an uptick in businesspeople consulting psychics and tarot card readers for advice making business decisions!

6)Tech R&D – Several execs of major tech and internet firms have signaled that cutting spending on the next generation of products and services is far from being the best way forward. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is one of them, while Executive VP Sean Maloney of Intel told the Wall Street Journal in November 2008 that "you recover from a recession with tomorrow's products, not today's." If that doesn't spell job security in a downturn, nothing does.

7)Offshore IT frenzy – When finance careers go down the tubes, one potential fallback for highly educated specialists tends to be the consulting industry. As the downturn bites ever harder, though, many firms are taking long looks at their balance sheets and deciding that consultant fees are one expense that can be limited. Not that it's all bad news for consultants – just U.S. based ones; another cost-cutting measure likely to experience an increase in popularity is outsourcing of services, specifically in the tech realm.

8)Always pulsing – Upturns, downturns, complete collapse: regardless of what happens in the wider economy, there's always a demand for healthcare professionals. Whether or not the number of positions increases through 2009 is a tough call, but it's hard to see it shrinking—especially with heart rates likely to be on as wild a rollercoaster ride as the stock market.

9)Entrepreneurial spirit – With more MBA's than ever all dressed up with nowhere to go, we could well see a substantial upswing in the numbers of individuals going it alone in 2009. Expect venture capital firms (and maybe even banks, once the credit markets thaw) to be inundated with requests to fund the next big thing. And maybe, just maybe, the next big thing might just arrive.

10)Plus 1 for good luck: Optimists – OK, so it's not really a job, but they're certainly in short supply, and more needed now than ever.


Filed Under: Job Search