Most industries have experienced massive change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies are shutting down not because their products or ideas were bad, but because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The market couldn’t hold them up through this challenging year.
Some industries, however, are ripe for digitally intrapreneurial people to make a difference. These are industries that have been forced to change dramatically, almost overnight, and therein lies an opportunity for the right people with the right toolkit of digital skills to make their mark.
As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve been keeping an eye on the way industries are evolving, and believe these five areas have massive growth potential as we head toward the end of 2020.
Technology Solution Providers
Industries that never cared about digital technology before are now scrambling to catch up. If they want to survive, they’ve got to be online. Because of this, some of the companies that provide digital solutions have been thriving. There’s a demand for services, even on tertiary levels such as digital marketing.
Every system needs people to implement it and consultants to teach businesses how to use it. Can you translate your skills to help a business close its digital gap?
Retail was drastically changing before the pandemic, through digital transformation and a shift to e-commerce, but Covid-19 accelerated the inevitable.
Many that were once fully brick-and-mortar companies have either closed, filed for bankruptcy or been forced to transition to digital to survive. Some of these companies are realizing that, in addition to a user-friendly e-commerce platform, they also need a strong social media presence and a digital team to effectively support all the different sales channels people are using.
When the virus hit, parents and kids were given no choice but to stay home, regardless of childcare arrangements or job demands. People were pushed to homeschooling, and there were clear cracks in how schools’ in-person curriculum translated to parents teaching at home.
As we navigate the fall semester, many schools have not defined a long-term plan.Because of this, companies that provide distance learning, online education and remote tutoring have increased in popularity. Based on what I’ve seen, there seems to be more willingness on the part of parents and children to adopt these new technologies.
Going out to eat was one of the first experiences we lost when the virus began to spread. It’s also likely to be one of the last to reopen fully. In areas with good weather, outdoor dining has been an option, but we’re moving into winter and many places will no longer find that feasible.
In place of in-restaurant dining, food delivery services have surged since the start of the pandemic. As digital took center stage, this necessitated the introduction of controls like throttling mechanisms to manage the flow of online orders.
From interface management to analytics to robotics to software solutions, there are now more opportunities for digital talent. Even individual restaurants can benefit from having a digital team member or two to focus on online orders, web listings, social media presence and review management.
Having worked in e-commerce for a long time, I know there have been a lot of barriers to grocery stores transitioning to digital. Food is perishable; consumers want things instantly; there is limited space in refrigerated trucks. That’s not to mention that some people really like their apples to look a certain way, and if they don’t, they’ll want to return them, which leads to increased costs for the store and more food waste.
These are just some of the reasons it seemed to me like digital grocery delivery just couldn’t work on a large scale. That is, until Covid-19 hit. Suddenly, stores started limiting occupancy, supply chains broke down and consumers turned to online ordering.
Grocers have the opportunity to put efficient systems in place. To make this a reality, stores may need app developers, marketers, e-commerce managers, inventory managers, supply chain managers, click-to-chat customer service reps and more. For an industry that has traditionally been face to face, there is suddenly a ton of opportunity for digital.
How To Make An Impact
If you’re looking to make a transition into one of these industries, the key thing to remember is that you need to bring value to the table. To do that, you should be engaging consistently with people in the industry on relevant topics and looking to help people in some way. Whether this is through sharing free advice or tips or joining online meetup groups to share your perspective and learn more, you need to jump in with both feet.
Depending on your industry and market, I’d also suggest picking one social media channel (or more) to invest your time into to build out your presence properly. Then begin sharing and engaging like crazy. LinkedIn is great if you are selling to businesses. Instagram and Facebook are best for consumer demand.
If you don’t have immediate luck with the traditional job search angle, I’d suggest trying some of these things:
1. Work with a recruiter in the industry you’re looking to break into.
2. Directly ask friends and colleagues in your network if they know of any opportunities. Sometimes all you need to do is ask!
3. Give some time away for free to get a foot in the door. Offer free advice for startups, do a project for someone with influence or volunteer for a good cause to gain experience in that industry.
If you’re looking for a job or you’re ready to take a big jump into something exciting, I’d encourage you to check out these five industries as places where significant change is happening.
This article first appeared on forbes.com on November 2, 2020