Time to start looking for a job outside your field? Here’s where to start.

looking for a job outside your field

There are more job openings in Canada than there have been in years, and yet unemployment is at a high. Time to start looking for a job outside your field? Here’s where to start.

Discouraged by the job search? You’re not alone. A survey has found that nearly half of job seekers are frustrated by a lack of opportunities. What can you do? Upskill, find transferable skills and look outside your field.

The survey of 1,800 unemployed respondents found that a majority of job seekers are unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic and that an even larger majority would be willing to take a pay cut just to get a job. This directly contradicts assertions that stimulus payments are keeping people from looking for work.

The survey found that:

  • 69% are currently unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic
  • 69% are actively and consistently job searching
  • 25% are job searching “to some degree”
  • 42% have been out of work for over a year
  • 72% had taken employment insurance or some sort of stimulus payment
  • 9% had postponed their job search because of the payment

And people are, as we stated, frustrated. Why? The reasons include:

  • Not finding the right jobs to apply to (48%)
  • Unresponsive employers (42%)
  • Not enough openings in their preferred profession (41%)
  • Not selected for an interview after applying (34%)
  • No opportunities worth pursuing in the last month (15%)

More findings are that:

  • 47% of respondents have expanded their search outside their current field
  • 40% have applied to jobs for which they think they’re overqualified
  • 46% are only finding low paying jobs

Most distressing is that 85% are willing to take a pay cut if it means getting a job. Of that 85%, 35% would take a modest pay cut of 6% to 19%, and 12% would take a larger pay cut of more than 20%.

There are more jobs than ever

People are having trouble finding work all over, including in Canada. The unemployment rate here is at 7.5%, and the number of unemployed Canadians rose from 1,145,700 in February 2020 to 1,521,400 in July 2021, an increase of 375,700. Long-term unemployment (out of work for 27 weeks or more) was 135.9% higher in July 2021 than in February 2020, and the number of people unemployed for a year or more accounted for more than two-thirds (68.8%) of the long-term unemployed, the highest proportion on record since 1976.

Meanwhile, the job vacancy rate is reportedly at its highest since 2015. What gives?

A few of the reasons for the mismatch and why people are not finding suitable jobs may include fear of COVID-19 (obviously people are afraid of working in jobs that require face-to-face contact with others), lack of childcare options, and, as noted above, a lack of jobs in their existing field.

How to find a job in the current market

While there’s not a great deal we can do about the first two reasons, we can take steps regarding the last one. If you’re job searching at this time and not finding anything in your existing field or positions for which you feel suited, you might need to expand your search, consider a career change, and start looking for a job outside your field.

Start by making a list of your skills – all of them – and then research jobs that match those skills. You can Google terms like “Jobs for people who are good at …”  and find related jobs. Then, you can take it further by looking at jobs related to those jobs, and see if some of your skills are transferable (they probably are). Find jobs you might be suited to, even if you’re underqualified, then consider acquiring more applicable skills, which can often be done by looking up free courses, webinars, and tutorials online. You can also ask friends and family what jobs they think you’re suited for, then look into those positions.

Continuing to learn is key to growing in your career and remaining gainfully employed when times are tough and when things are changing around you.

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