7 Jobs That Thrive While the Economy Struggles
We've heard the tales of career devastation from real estate to investment banking; doesn't it make you wonder which jobs may be secretly, silently thriving amidst the chaos?
Well, before you read this list, prepare to cringe. All of the debt, stress and job hunting going on across the country adds up to more customers, more work and more money for certain industries. But, some of them are not your favorites.
Ron Mitchell, CEO and co-founder of GottaMentor, a career development company based in New York City, suggests a somewhat grim list of who is doing well while most of the country struggles:
1. Repossession Agent.
If you want to make people's skin crawl or their babies cry, just mention the "Repo Man." As folks' net worth shrinks and they cannot pay off what they owe on their cars, homes, boats and other properties, repossession agents move in to take back the goods. While a frightening character to many, the "Repo Man" provides an essential function, working for either a repossession company or independently on behalf of credit card or other agency.
2. Career Coach.
Past feelings of job security have flown the coop and now more people are looking for ways to stay employed. Mitchell says, "Career coaching is a real opportunity for folks. People are unemployed and getting much more focused on their career." He mentions one source that might be hiring: outplacement agencies. Companies contract with these agencies after layoffs to provide former employees with a shiny new resume and some fresh job leads.
Even the brightest optimist can have a hard time shaking off a sudden and unexpected layoff. Mitchell says, "A lot of unemployed folks' self worth is tied up in their job so you have huge identity crises happening. Counseling and mental health services will be in high demand." Plus, who knows? A little time on the couch might help people discover an even better next career.
4. Debt Management Specialist.
If you heard that someone could take your credit card debt from $5000 to $4000 with one phone call, wouldn't you want their help? A debt management specialist can rework and, hopefully, reduce your personal liabilities – a service that many Americans could use right now. According to Mitchell, "A lot [of debt management providers] are not-for-profit but there are for-profit organizations, as well, that charge people a percentage upon helping them manage their debt." So, while you might pay a fee, you could find someone who will help you for free.
5. Construction Worker.
Plumbers, carpenters, electricians and tradesmen of all kinds are likely to benefit from the millions, and possibly trillions, President-elect Obama plans to pour into infrastructure development. Skilled laborers will be in high demand and can look forward to a steady paycheck from Uncle Sam. Mitchell brings up HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) installers as an example, saying, "It sounds like pretty small stuff but every building in American has air conditioning."
6. Debt Collector.
Phone calls, letters and personal threats? Well, threats aren't fair but, unfortunately, the phone calls and letters are. Debt collectors are tasked with getting people to pay off bills, most often credit card and medical bills. "Credit is down, and collection applications are up. This is clearly a sign of the economic times," said William Lund, superintendent of Maine's Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection.
Homes, cars, art -- you name it and, right now, it's for sale. Our country is busy with auctions of all kinds and these events keep auctioneers employed and happy. Beyond the foreclosed homes that often end up on the auction block, Mitchell points out that investment scams, such as Bernard Madoff's $50 billion dollar fiasco, have left many of the once moneyed with little but heirlooms and trinkets. He explains, "Now there are these really wealthy people who lost their life savings but they still have some art on the wall. They are willing to sell their Andy Warhol so they can keep their house in Boca Raton."
Sources: "Maine Debt Collection is Up in Down Economy" http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/articles/2008/12/20/maine_debt_collection_is_up_in_down_economy/