Even though the overall job market seems to have stabilised with the worst recession years behind us, many UAE employees, especially in Dubai, still do not have the same confidence levels in terms of job stability and security as the might have had in the pre-slowdown era.
While the fear of a job-loss may not be as acute as in 2009/10, there remain a number of people not just in the UAE but across the world who still feel their job may not be stable and live in the constant fear of getting the boot.
In many cases, people choose a particular career because they believe it will provide them with promising pay package, but most jobs aren’t recession-proof, i.e., they don’t guarantee peace of the mind that they won’t disappear if things were to go wary.
For example, many people opt for a career in financial services, specifically investment banking. It’s highly paid, bonuses are even fatter and the total package beats what many other industries have to offer. But do they get a good night’s stress-free sleep? Not in the past few years.
According to a recent survey by eFinancialCareers, a career site for professionals working in banking and financial markets, reveals that our friends in this particular sector are particularly stressed out not just because their work is demanding, but also because of the fear that comes with the thoughts of not having a job the next day.
Opting for a highly paid career or one where a regular and consistent income is guaranteed is a quite a personal choice. The choice is equally difficult when it comes to selecting a career path that matches up with your personal passions and still puts food on the table.
If you’re looking for job security and growth, you’ll want to focus on the industries that are adding new jobs and retaining the existing one, and may not depend entirely on what the balance sheets dictate. We have shortlisted such career options, making it a bit simpler for you, if you are still stuck in the rut of what to choose.
“All careers can be fruitful and exciting if you have the right mindset but we also have to be realistic about these jobs being around during tough and not-so challenging times,” says Ash Athawale, Recruitment Manager at Reed Specialist Recruitment.
“In my experience, there are some jobs that will be here for the long term,” he adds while listing his picks of the most secure jobs today.
#1 Dr Dependable: Careers in healthcare
A career in healthcare is considered the most recession-proof in any country no matter what the economic state of affairs may be. We all need doctors, nurses, pharmacists, surgeons and general hospital administration at all times because of the simple reason that there is no specific time to fall sick.
“Individuals in these professions are responsible for our well-being and there is no job that holds someone’s existence in their hands. Their work really is the difference between life and death. People fall sick in good times and during a recession, and a medical practitioner is needed in both,” Athawale says.
#2 Roger that: Military and civil defense personnel
Even though they may be the first in line of fire on the ground, it is highly unlikely that their jobs will ever be taken away because the economy is going through a difficult phase. We’ve always heard of budgets being increased when it comes to the safety and security of a country. It’s rare when spending will be cut on people who keep guard.
“These are professionals who are in demand and are most appreciated during crisis for which they train during times of peace and so-called quiet times. This, interestingly enough, is a professional who saves lives while risking their own. A firefighter is usually the person who enters a building in flames to rescue any survivors. Military personnel are seen around the world helping civilians during natural calamities. The first responders are and will always be needed – virtually at all times,” the Reed expert summarises.
#3 Academic interest: Educators
Education is a right in the modern world and, ideally, all children should have the opportunity to get educated. It can only be second to healthcare and to impart education, we need educators.
“We all need educators, teachers, coaches, who challenge us to do better and motivate us to try and excel in our achievements. While schools may curtail activity in some of the creative areas to control spend, rarely does it impact teachers specializing in sciences, math or sports since these are seen as key areas for development for corporate careers and team working,” .
#4 Child’s play: Professional caregivers
“Childcare,” is one pick of Debbie Nicol, an expert in HR and talent management in Dubai, as she rightly says “children aren’t going away!”
With modernization and globalization, more women are entering the workforce and nuclear families are becoming the norm. This increases the reliance on professional caregivers as both parents are working and with more disposable income they are now demanding higher quality from their childcare providers.
Even before the children reach a suitable school-going age, they are sent to pre-kindergarten centres and they demand highly trained caregivers who command more competitive salaries than their predecessors.
In big cities, Dubai, being one of them, the cost of caring and raising young children has skyrocketed. Parents may complain of these costs but this is an expense they will not cut on.
#5 Second helping: Food service
There is no replacement for food and people can stop going to fancy restaurants, but ordering food and takeaways thrive even in difficult times.
“Humans won’t stop eating out for a long time, if ever!” as Nicol puts it. Food service or catering industry as we call it will continue to flourish.
#6 Bailing ’em out: Lawyers
Dispute is human nature and it doesn’t cease to exist as per the economic cycle, always creating demand for professionals who handle and make a living out of this problem.
“Not all lawyers are litigators, lawyers also provide sound legal advice and guidance in many diverse areas like taxes, estate planning, corporate and business advisory, intellectual property and family law to name a few. Regardless of the state of the economy, a sound legal mind is always an asset,” Athawale puts it.
#7 Technology 2.0: Developers
A mobile phone bought a couple of years ago is outdated, and may not be in production either. Technology changes every six months, so a job in this industry can be considered fairly safe provided professionals keep up with the latest trends.
Development of new technology, rapid advancement of ideas and the need for constant upgrades and research can assure professionals in this industry of job security at least for many years to come.
“Technology will simply keep evolving,” says Nicol, and professionals will be needed to keep pace with this evolution.
#8 Dispatch this: Administration staff
Jobs that require physical interaction will always be needed. “Couriers, delivery personnel, construction workers, transportation personnel, store clerks…These jobs are always in demand and here to stay. While they do get impacted by downturns in the economy, these jobs can never be eliminated in their entirety,” says Athawale.
“Businesses will always rely on couriers to have their important documents and packages to be physically delivered. While email has affected the postal companies, a physical package, like a gift has to be delivered by a human being. Buildings won’t get built automatically, they will need construction workers. So is the case with your favourite pizza – it needs a human transporter,” he adds.