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When One Door Closes, Another Opens: 5 Industries For Job Opportunities During COVID-19

As Singapore extends the ‘circuit breaker’ period, many sectors have been badly impacted, such as hospitality, travel and tourism, retail, as well as F&B.

In a bid to cut costs, many companies have even imposed pay cuts as well as salary and hiring freezes. The National Wages Council has advised that retrenchment should be a “last resort”, but there are still many who have lost their jobs in this Covid-19 climate.

However, the unexpected silver lining here is the discovery of new opportunities in this period of uncertainty.

Although the job market is facing some challenges right now, some companies are still hiring. Here are five industries that have been staying strong amid this global pandemic should you decide to make a mid-career switch.

1. E-commerce

Image Credit: Mobile88

As retail stores are forced to close as part of ‘circuit breaker’ measures, consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping as well as food and grocery deliveries.

According to a Nielsen study, the penetration of Singapore users venturing into e-commerce will continue to rise. This is backed by the finding that 69 per cent of people surveyed who bought household goods online for the first time during Covid-19, claim that they will do so again in the next 12 months.

Similarly, statistics portal Statista reported that Singaporeans are spending more on online grocery shopping (14% increase), other online shopping excluding groceries (6% increase) and food delivery services (10% increase) as of March 2020.

If you are worried that the uplift in e-commerce is only temporary and will slow down once the pandemic ends, e-commerce revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 9.1 per cent, resulting in a market volume of US$3,939m by 2024.

Moreover, it’s also possible that after this situation ceases, people will continue to purchase online due to its convenience and ease of use and replace shop visits with online purchases.

Check out e-commerce roles here.

2. Digital Media And Entertainment

Image Credit: Campaign Asia

With the social distancing measures in place, this has led to a spike in at-home media consumption.  

Hand-in-hand with this, there has been a growing demand for digital media and entertainment according to Nielsen. Two in five consumers (44%) are playing more online games, followed by social network activities (38%) and online video streaming (36%) as people seek to relieve boredom and replace face-to-face interaction.

Similarly, consulting firm Kantar reported that media consumption increased across all in-home channels – web browsing increasing by 70%, followed by (traditional) TV viewing increasing by 63% and social media engagement increasing by 61% over normal usage rates.

Comscore’s report on Covid-19’s impact of digital media consumption showed that Singaporeans have been keeping themselves updated on the pandemic with digital news. There has been growth across digital news categories as people visit news apps and information sites for timely and trusted information on the Covid-19 crisis while they are staying at home.

What’s more, as staying in becomes the new going out, we are turning to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to replace physical visits to concerts, museums and events. We can enjoy these never-before experiences safely from the comforts of our homes.

Check out digital media roles here.

3. Health And Wellness

Image Credit: OMSI.com

Health has become a priority now more than ever, and our local pharmacies are far from closing their doors. Demand for health and wellness products have been growing rapidly since the Covid-19 outbreak.

There was already a long-term shift towards healthier products and categories before the virus outbreak.

Singapore’s telehealth app Doctor Anywhere said that “products such as sanitisers and disinfectants are flying off the shelf, as are immunity boosting supplements and vitamins” in the health and wellness marketplace on its app.

Even after Covid-19, consumers are expected to continue to look after their health and wellbeing. More than four in five consumers in Singapore are likely to buy health supplements again in the next 12 months, and 58 per cent of consumers will continue buying hand sanitisers.  

Check out pharmacy-related roles here.

4. Grocery Retail

Image Credit: CapitaLand

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have seen news of Singaporeans rushing to the supermarkets to stock up their pantries in fear of a ‘lockdown’.

According to DBS Group Research, retail demand has turned to supermarkets as grocery sales followed the same boost seen during SARS in 2003.

Amongst supermarket giants, Sheng Shiong is projected to see a 3-11 per cent growth in its FY2020 earnings. Meanwhile, Dairy Farm is expecting its FY2020 earnings to increase by 3 per cent, thanks to increased food consumption at home and healthcare products, as well as to random panic-buying locals.

On the online side, Covid-19 has driven higher penetration of online shopping for FMCG products (personal care, home care, beverages, packaged food) as seven in 10 consumers are shopping online to stock their pantry, and this behaviour is likely to continue even when the pandemic ends.

FairPrice, RedMart and foodpanda’s grocery delivery service have reported a surge in sales when Singapore raised its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level from Yellow to Orange.

With one in two consumers cooking or eating more often at home now, this will lead to an increase in grocery purchases for home-cooked meals.

People still go to physical stores to pantry-stock, so grocery goods retailers and supermarkets should be focusing on catering to both online and offline customers.

Check out grocery retail roles here.

5. Video-conferencing Services

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As the ‘circuit breaker’ took place and we started working from home, companies have transitioned fully to remote work and video conferences, online meetings and chat services.

As companies rapidly — and in some cases also permanently — move towards remote working, the market for digital collaboration tools such as Google Hangouts and Zoom is likely to grow quickly. Zoom has already experienced a 72 per cent increase in its share price on its first day of trading alone.

Microsoft has reported that their video conferencing service Microsoft Teams recorded a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day, a 200 per cent increase from 900 million on March 16, as students and teachers turn to Teams for home-based learning. Teams currently has 183,000 tenants in 175 countries using Teams for education.

Market intelligence firm IDC confirmed that in their Future of Work Employee Survey 2020, countries with considerable organisations working from home such as Singapore have already seen an uptake of video meetings, audio conference calls, and collaboration platforms.

Video conferencing usage extends beyond business meetings. It has also become a social platform for self-isolated individuals to connect with family and friends to make up for the lost face-to-face interaction we used to have before Covid-19.

Competition in this industry is set to intensify as Tencent Holdings recently launched VooV Meeting, which has already been rolled out in over 100 countries and regions, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

It will be competing with the likes of Alibaba’s DingTalk and ByteDance’s Lark, which is a sure indication that the demand for digital collaboration tools would stay after Covid-19.

Check out digital collaboration roles here.

Lost Your Job Due To Covid-19? Here’s How You Can Get Help

While recovery of the economy and the Covid-19 situation remain bleak, we should stay positive in this tough period of time.

If you have been retrenched due to cost-cutting measures, forced to go on no-pay leave, or lost your job because your company has folded, take this opportunity to reconsider your career path and future-proof your career.

Workforce Singapore (WSG) is helping affected individuals make a mid-career switch through the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs), where PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) will undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations or sectors that have good prospects and opportunities for progression.

WSG also has a team of Career Coaches who are ready to offer professional advice on how to help you get back on your feet and emerge stronger after your job loss.

A career coaching session will help you personalise your career plan to achieve your goals, get unbiased feedback to uncover your blind spots, acquire job-search skills to stand out from other candidates and receive support when the going gets tough. Through the session, the Career Coach can help you better understand your strengths and aspirations, craft your CV, match your skills with opportunities in the labour market, improve your job search strategy and so on.

Sign up now for an appointment with one of WSG’s career coaches.

WSG has also curated the Career Restarter Virtual Toolkit, a library of online video resources for jobseekers to find out how they can go about their job search and increase their chances of getting hired, from pitching their CV to scoring a job interview.

Also, check out Workforce Singapore’s Virtual Career Fairs for thematic virtual career fairs for you to apply to hiring employers. The SGUnited Jobs Virtual Career Fairs (VCF) running currently aims to provide job opportunities for jobseekers and workers affected by the current COVID-19 situation, as well as match them to jobs available, including new jobs created as a result of COVID-19.

You may also visit MyCareersFuture.sg for a wider range of other positions. Whether you are a fresh graduate looking for an entry-level job or an experienced individual considering a career switch, MyCareersFuture.sg provides jobseekers with everything they need to know about the job hunting process and nature of the various industries based on tips and tricks from experts in related fields in Singapore and abroad.

Additionally, you may also follow SGUnited Telegram channel for regular updates on job vacancies.

Most importantly, you do not have to feel dejected about losing your job or being retrenched. Help yourself get through this difficult but temporary period of time. Search for tips to help you regain control of your life and get back on your feet. Always remind yourself to have a positive mindset and work towards the goal of finding another job.

While you work towards scoring another job, be proactive about taking ownership in advancing your career and getting job search assistance through WSG, which has self-help resources at your fingertips as well as professional career coaches to offer you advice as you find your career path again.

Keep in mind that retrenchment is not the end of the world and you can pick yourself up again.

Kick-start your job search by setting up an appointment with a Career Coach today!

This article is written in collaboration with Workforce Singapore.

Featured Image Credit: NUS / Begenki Shop

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