Taking advantage of new opportunities in uncertain economic times

The ongoing economic uncertainty has seen many engineers lose jobs, redefined many dreams and created what appears to be an uncertain future for many students. While the situation might be bleak, if you analyze the situation from a different perspective, you might find other opportunities for career and educational development.

For example, If you have lost your job, perhaps it is time to reconsider the direction of your career. Maybe you should pursue self employment.  A post-job loss assessment is a good way to rethink everything about your life and figure out which trajectory you want your life and your career to follow onwards.  Besides, you now have the time you always said you didn’t have.

This article will by no means provide you with a solution but rather attempts to point out certain points worth considering.


Every immigrant who comes to America comes believing that in America there exist many opportunities. Many have followed this idea and became millionaires, Nobel laureates etc.  Many accomplished this by taking advantage of the ever-arising opportunities.  Look around and you and figure out what are the changing trends and figure out how you can take advantage of such opportunities.  Once you have figured that out, align yourself accordingly.

Which industry sectors are growing

If you are to take advantage of new opportunities, you also need to understand which industries are growing.  Not all industries and sectors have been affected severely by the economic slowdown. Some of the sectors are still doing well and are creating new opportunities.  If you determine that a certain sector is worth pursuing, then figure out what you need to do to make it happen.  For example, if you are a civil engineer working in the transportation industry and you see opportunities arising in the sustainable building design, then its time you looked into LEED certification.

Plan for long term

Just like anything else that worth having, it is always better to plan you career for the long term.  Certain industries and sectors are there to stay and will report growth in the next few decades. Some areas are also better than others in creating job opportunities. Relatively younger regions would not have reached the peak of the growth curve and hence will have more opportunities than others. Most of the developing countries are reporting substantial growth in their economies despite the slowdown.


Once you have identified the sector and region that you want to focus on, you can take advantage of the new opportunities by honing the skills that you already have. You can acquire new skills and knowledge through continuing education.  Today there are many online schools that offer degrees on different disciplines. You can take advantage of the Internet revolution and add to your knowledge base.

This may also be a good time to consider shift in careers to take advantage of new opportunities arising in other fields. As an engineer you may not have pondered on a career on finance though finance interests you. You may want to take up new opportunities in financial sector, which also requires an engineering background.

In these tumultuous times, it is worthwhile to remember that you need to shift your focus from what you are doing to what you can do. Greater flexibility is required to take advantage of the new opportunities created and quicker you are to adapt, faster you will succeed. Opportunities will not come knocking out at your door, you need to go all out and sniff out those new opportunities and seize them to ensure a lasting growth in your career.

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