Okay, so I made that up. There’s no such thing as a job search and industry trend crystal ball. Nevertheless, that’s one of the responses I received to a recent survey question about how I could do more to help clients–that is, he/she mentioned something about a crystal ball, and I added the rest! I have never been a fortune-teller, not in this life or any other I may have had. Facetiousness aside, what I would personally do and would recommend to the person who submitted the comment (the survey responses were anonymous) is to consult as many reputable and hopefully reliable sources as I reasonably could and base my actions on that.
Whether it’s related to the occupation or industry you’re currently in or one you’re considering switching to, you need to stay on top of current and newly emerging trends by maintaining a list of information sources and taking time periodically to access and evaluate their information. Note: The sources can be online or offline, including live human beings–don’t limit yourself needlessly. For example: If you have an “in” with experts in your field, cherish those relationships and tap into them. Just remember to make them a two-way street by giving something in return when you can.
I don’t believe any one person can be expert and up to date on every occupation or industry out there now, much less the ones that will emerge in years to come. What you might find useful is to rank your research efforts by category, such as the following: specific to your occupation/industry; related to occupations/industries that somehow interact with yours; and a wider-view approach that helps keep you from focusing too narrowly on your own employment niche.
Here’s a partial list of sources to identify trend information involving the career area you’re interested in and keep as current as possible, as well as to get an idea of what might be coming down the pike later: