Can you imagine burning the midnight oil to get your grades to get you into university? Then studying day and night to gain your qualifications only to find that after a few years your chosen field of work has dried up and you are unable to get any work.
I have seen this happen time and time again. We make the mistake of thinking the world will never change. Or of thinking that something that is in demand will stay in demand. A recent example is of plumbers. In London plumbers were in short supply to the point they could ask whatever price they wanted. People become pretty desperate when their boilers pack up and they have no heating or hot water, or worse still water is pouring through their living room ceiling. Tea break and pub conversations were often, ‘I had a plumber out the other night, he was only there fifteen minutes and guess what he charged me?’ The conversation would continue with gasped of horror of the plumber charging hundreds of pounds to simply flick a switch.
For a few years plumbers were making a fortune then people began to cotton on. Almost every day someone would tell me, ‘I am taking a course in plumbing, I will earn far more money as a plumber.’
Even a few solicitors, senior management and a vicar decided this was the way to go. Some time soon they will all qualify and guess what will happen? There will be too many plumbers coupled with the arrival of thousands of Eastern Europeans keen to work and many of them skilled manual workers.
The bottom is about to drop out of that money making machine any time soon. I saw something similar in the eighties. Many people rushed off to study I.T. and soon they were earning piles of money but as we approached the nineties and the millennium I.T. stalled. Soon many of my I.T. expert clients were facing redundancy or earning half what they once were struggling now to pay their high mortgages.
The world will keep on changing and you need to know what will be the next big thing, you also need to know what will peak and die out very quickly and what is worth the long term view.
Trends occur in any field of work, I remember years ago when I asked my optician about contact lenses (yes it was a very long time ago). He looked at me and said, ‘they will never catch on besides you are far better off with glasses.’ He retired shortly afterwards.
Even for people working in a new age or self help field there are trends. In my Nan’s day reading tea leaves was very popular these days it is rare. In the sixties there were far more palmists. I remember in the eighties lots of people became aroma therapists today there are lots of reiki practitioners. For the last five or six years angels have become all the rage. Have angels suddenly decided to pop up among us more often of is it fashionable? I am not offering a view but if you spend a fortune to become some sort of a therapist and within year there are hundreds of other people all clutching the same certificate you could find that you have wasted your money.
Luckily, by working with my clients I often get an insight into what will be happening. If several people mention green hair will be all the rage then I know what to advise my clients in hair and beauty. Often my clients just want to know that things will work out okay or simply have a question about which way to go. Yet during the session they discover a wealth of information that will put them streets ahead of the competition. No matter what you do you will need to know the trends.
You would think something as straight forward as nursing would be unaffected but nurses who are clients of mine have told me that they have been pushed aside for cheaper foreign nurses and teachers have told me they can no longer afford to work in the field that they love.
Here is a script that will put you on the right course.
SPOTTING THE NEXT BIG THING
Find yourself a comfy place to relax, take the phone off the hook and let go of all your thoughts and worries. Leave your current day behind you and imagine you are sitting in a coffee shop. Around you are a wide range of people sipping their lattes and cappuccinos. There are a couple of young mums chatting, a businessman in a pin striped suit reading the financial times. A lady solicitor reading a glossy magazine and a young man, who has just started his first job.
Notice above the heads of the staff a large digital clock displaying the day month year hour and minute. As you look at the clock you notice the dials begin to spin faster and faster you notice that the days are passing like minutes and they spin faster and faster.
They begin to slow down and eventually almost top as they reach the usual second by second movement. Look around the coffee shop, notice what the people are talking about. What are the young mums, who children are now much bigger, talking about, lean in and concentrate, are they talking about the latest music? What clothes and hair are in? What programmes are now highly rated.
Now focus on the businessman, he has an eye for good investments. What is selling like hot cakes? What has boomed recently?
Now the lady solicitor: She is hard working and very spiritual. What gadgets have made
her life easier? What new spiritual rends is she reading about in her glossy magazine.
And now the young man, he has now been promoted and is working his way up in his company. What cars are selling well and does he dreams of owning. What are young men of his age spending their hard earned money on?
You can place your own characters in the coffee shop and discover trends in any areas you wish. Especially in your own field. Focus on what you need to know. Take your time and get a sense of what is big in your field and what is now obsolete.
And when you are ready take a nice deep breath, feel your feet on the ground and open your eyes.
Read about Anne Jirsch here