- While industries are recovering from the coronavirus crisis, some are still below prepandemic employment.
- But workers in these industries may already have some of the skills they need to land different jobs.
- Insider compared 35 jobs to about 400 different jobs to find which may be a good fit based on skills.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Thinking about shaking up your career? You’re not alone. Over 9 million Americans are still out of work after more than a year since the pandemic was officially declared.
A Pew Research Center report in February found that 66% of the unemployed people surveyed the month before had “seriously considered changing fields or occupations since they’ve been unemployed.”
If you’re one of the millions without work and are considering changing jobs – or even switching industries – there’s some good news: Certain jobs may be a good fit for you based on the skills you already have.
“Transferable skills are your golden ticket because they will help you pivot to a new field, a new industry, a new job,” Vicki Salemi, a career expert at the job site Monster, told Insider.
The tool below may be helpful if you’re in a job that’s projected to decline from 2019 to 2029 – or if you want to find a job outside an industry hit hard by the pandemic.
Click through the dropdown menus and scroll bars to find similar jobs for 35 occupations based on their skills.
The leisure and hospitality industry, for example, was one of the hardest hit early on in the pandemic as the demand for travel declined during lockdowns. In addition to looking at this industry, we homed in on select jobs in food services and drinking places; arts, entertainment, and recreation; and retail.
Outside the pandemic and these industries, some jobs are projected to see a decline in employment over the decade, such as data-entry keyers and door-to-door sales workers. We also looked at these two jobs and a few others projected to see employment declines between 2019 and 2029 to figure out what opportunities there may be based on the skills required.
After excluding jobs that didn’t meet our criteria – described below – we found that non-restaurant food servers, cargo and freight agents, and animal-control workers showed up frequently in the chart as similar occupations to the jobs in hard-hit industries.
Certain skills can help you in a variety of jobs. Active listening and effective speaking skills, for instance, appear to be highly rated for several jobs that showed up as a top similar job for the 35 occupations we looked at.
Some of the similar jobs may involve different work responsibilities or work styles, but they may have similar levels of importance for numerous soft skills.
One similar kind of job to musicians and singers, for example, is manicurists and pedicurists because they have similar importance scores for speaking, active learning, and social perceptiveness.
Using skills to leave a job in a hard-hit industry or declining job
Although some skills are specific to a role, other skills a worker has could help land a job in a different industry.
Take employment in restaurants and other food places. Employment in restaurants and bars was still 12% below employment in February 2020. Hari Srinivasan, the vice president of product management at LinkedIn Learning, told Insider’s Aman Kidwai that someone in food service likely already has most of the skills to work in customer service.
Brie Reynolds, a career-development manager at FlexJobs, said a person in retail could use transferable skills such as interpersonal skills, empathy, and sales to work in customer service, sales, marketing, or branding. General transferable skills, Reynolds and Salemi said, include critical thinking, adaptability, and communication skills.
Salemi said that even before getting an interview, candidates looking to make a job or industry switch need to assess their skills and highlight them on their résumé.
“Even when I worked in recruiting, I saw many industry changes,” Salemi said. “That’s why it’s important for your résumé to show that story in your executive summary and highlight those skills, so that the industry or the specific job is secondary to the fact that you have this core skillset to be effective.”
Salemi added that without clearly highlighting these skills, recruiters might have to guess why you would be a good fit for a role in an industry that you haven’t worked in. According to Monster’s “Future of Work Report,” two-thirds of employers said candidates could do a better job articulating their skills more clearly.
How we found jobs with similar skills
To find similar jobs, we looked at the importance scores of skills for different jobs on the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). Each skill is given an importance score from zero to 100, where 100 means it is very important for that job.
We calculated the absolute difference between each skill for a particular job that met one of our criteria and compared it to the other roughly 400 jobs that aren’t on our original list and are expected to grow. We took the sum of the absolute differences and considered those with the smallest totals as similar jobs.
The graphic focuses on occupations that do not include one of the 35 jobs we looked at and that are expected to grow faster than 3.7% from 2019 to 2029, the total projected employment growth during this period. We also decided to exclude a few jobs that are projected to grow by more than 3.7% from 2019 to 2029 but are part of hard-hit industries, such as concierges and gambling dealers.
Based on our analysis, there are different jobs that require similar skills even if they fall into different industries. Salemi said even if you have never changed industries before, you should try to apply.
“Always go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Salemi said. “Even if you have a conversation with the employer, and then they say, ‘You know what, we were looking for someone with more experience.’ Well, then you’ve made a connection with that employer.”