What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

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MeatProduct9000's picture
MeatProduct9000
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What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

Hey everybody, new member here.

I'm considering switching careers into a field that may hold up better than the one I'm in now, in light of the likely future events described here in the Crash Course. Energy comes to mind as the place to be for the forseeable future. The energy industry seems to be the main, if not the only, industry which may profit from peak oil and other shocks in the energy supply, despite whatever else may happen in the economy.

I'm 24, with a Bachelor's in economics. I currently work in an oddball branch of financial services that deals with corporate governance. I was planning to pursue a career in finance, possibly M&A, but that seems to be a poor bet now, given the likely prospects of the world economy. Finance as we know looks likely to simply fold up.

So, what do you think? Does shooting to get into the energy industry as an analyst or something sound like a good idea? What else could I consider?

P.S.: If there already is a thread along these lines, I apologize, and would appreciate a link.

Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Lemonyellowschwin
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Re: What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

Auto repair.

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
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Re: What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

I would have said shoe repair, LOL.

 

SG

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat
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Re: What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

I think that most blue-collar and no-collar jobs will continue to be profitable. Basically, if you can do something practical, not just desk jobs and management type stuff, you'll do fine. You probably won't get rich, but you should be able to keep yourself fed and clothed just fine.  Analysts, consultants and that sort of job *might* still manage for a while, but you should probably have the physical skills to back up the mental ones.

funkyspec's picture
funkyspec
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Re: What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

 Charles Hugh Smith's Marketing in Crisis gives what appears to be a good overview, framework, and lens through which to view business and entrepreneurship during "the crash." His Of Two Minds blog is always an interesting read. He addresses a lot of the same things that Dr. Martenson addresses here, but more from the perspective of an entrepreneur and small businessman (vs. Chris' perspective of research and education).  I gave the Marketing in Crisis book to one of our 20-something web developers and haven't gotten it back yet. The good news is that there is going to lots of opportunities for a motivated person your age.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Re: What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

Hello DvFederov,

Welcome to the site and I certainly appreciate your desire to think through how your skills and abilities might best provide a future of prosperity and purpose.

These are big questions and I am almost certain there is no correct answer.  How's that for "advice"?

With that said, here's how I see the future.  In a future defined by the steady application of "less" where "more" was desired, needed and expected, I anticipate that we can expect a future filled with less societal complexity.  This means fewer arcane service jobs and more "hands on" jobs.  From the esoteric to the needed.

I would steer away from entertainment industry intellectual property patent law and towards meeting basic needs.  Away from higher complexity and towards meeting basic needs.

This does not mean "simpler."  Far from it.  It means being more clever, more scrupulously efficient, more intellectually curious about how to do things faster, better and cheaper.  One judgment I have about the past 8-10 decades is that the massive application of surplus energy has masked many failures and weaknesses.  Companies and individuals were able to skate by with minimal effort and rigor due to the fact that there was plenty for everyone.  Those days are drawing to a close and true effort and abilities will be revealed and rewarded. I see the future as providing plenty of opportunities but heavily favoring those that are more diligent and careful in their efforts.

In short, I see the laws of nature returning to the workplace.  Call it economic Darwinism.  Some will thrive, some will not.  My advice is to think of what your strengths are, what will be needed, and then figure out how to be both adaptable and resilient within those parameters.  If in doubt, default to a position lower on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. 

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
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Re: What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

Hi DV,

Whimsical reply aside (actually a good blue collar job), decision-making at your age in the current environment is an interesting challenge. Chris's thoughts are relevant (I'm sure that he has wondered about his kids' future education and occupations) and there are other people your age on site with similar considerations. Hopefully, they will make their way to this thread or you can use the search function above and check them out.

Good luck.

 

SG

Morpheus's picture
Morpheus
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Re: What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

Chris. I know you've talked about this (future opportunities in employment) in passing from time to time. As an electrical engineer I can think of alternative energy technologies, and extremely efficient technologies as a possible career path. Right now I design police radios which might keep me in business for a while as crime and unrest develop.

Question though, and I am only asking for your personal view or guess of the future, and will prequalify your response in that I am only asking an opinion of you and not advice.  Do you think that communications (i,e radio, television, phone) will go by the wayside or taper down significantly? I'm a radio engineer. But I sense that radios will increase in use and cell phones decrease (infrastructure much less power intensive).

MeatProduct9000's picture
MeatProduct9000
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Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 2
Re: What careers may still be profitable during the crash?

Hey; same guy here, just changed my account name.

Thanks for your responses.

Not exactly what I had hoped to hear, but it's better that way.

I'm still inclined to say that if or when the oil supply gets short and oil shoots up to $500 a barrel, the oil business is going to be a pretty good place to be. Banking and consulting and other white collar jobs may wither, but the world will always need oil, and it'll need it all the more when there isn't enough. Am I wrong here? 

P.S.: I could see someone making the argument that it would be better at that point to work on the actual oil rig than to be working at a desk on some M&A transaction, but I haven't thought this through. 

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