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Many a careers have been destroyed because they were part of a dying industry. The biggest driver of change in industries is technology. Take the example of the photographic film industry. Digital photography has put the photographic film industry on deathbed. So if you are being offered a position in the photographic film industry, no matter how well you perform, you will face difficulties because your industry is dying.

 

Important things to look for in an industry before taking up a position are:

1.      Growth of the industry: High growth industries offer more opportunities than low growth industries

2.      Number of companies within that industry: The more the number of players within the industry, the less it will be controlled by a single player and hence the smaller the chances that it would be affected by an unfortunate event within a single company

3.      Level of government regulation: Heavily regulated industries are always at the mercy of changing political will.

4.      Influence of technological change on the industry: If you are comfortable with the high pace of technological change, can quickly learn and adapt to new technologies then you should not shy away from hi-tech industries. But if you are not comfortable with technological change then stay away from them

 

Researching the industry:

1.      Meet with people who work within that industry and talk to them about their experiences

2.      Research the industry on the internet, read industry reports from Forrester Research, spend some time on Yahoo Finance or The Wall Street Journal

3.      Make a list of things that excite you about that industry. If the list is shorter than 5 points, think again about joining that industry

4.      Research average salary levels for the position within the industry from www.salary.com. Do they meet your expectations?

5.      Research physical locations of major companies within the industry. Do you mind relocating to those cities? E.g. if your heart is in finance, you have to love New York or San Francisco if you fall for technology

 

The bottom line is that picking the right industry will help you focus on the right companies and your job search will be much more effective and efficient.

 

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