Look Beyond The Ten Hottest Careers

Job-seekers frequently look at the ten hottest career or the highest paying career lists as a guide to which are the hottest jobs around.

The more determined ones then work or study towards reaching one of these ‘hot jobs’.

When working on GED subjects with my students, the idea of getting this kind of a well-paying job is a strong motivator.

In a parallel career, you’re NOT looking for a better job or even a ‘hot job’. It’s because you realize that a job is only as stable as whether your boss likes you…or your boss’ survival in the company…or the survival of the company…or other factors beyond your control.

You’re looking for something that lasts long-term, something you can develop while you still have a job. You are not looking for short- to medium-term gratification.  In your quest for a parallel career, the ten hottest careers or highest paying career lists are used only as indicators of what jobs (and hence skillsets and know-how) are in high demand in the marketplace.


Syssoc.com looks beyond the Ten Hottest Career or the Highest Paying Career lists. It looks at trends instead…social trends, technology trends, product trends, business trends, all-kinds-of trends. Look at these trends before deciding on the choice of your parallel career.
Trends + Assets & Skillset = Parallel Career Opportunity

Forget the ten hottest career or highest paying career lists! When you spot trends and combine them with your Assets and Skillset you’ll find parallel career opportunities…not jobs. Look at these examples:

Example 1

Trend: Increase in population of an ethnic group

Current job:

Your job at a local council involves translating bi-weekly bulletins for a particular ethnic group. Hardly rocket science. And unlikely to be in the ten hottest careers or highest paying career lists but you could still leverage on it to start a parallel career.

Assets & Skillset:

(a) You understand the culture of this group
(b) You know the main influencers in this group
(c) You have a good reputation among the members of this group
(d) You know where members of this group go to pick-up this bulletin

Career opportunity:

You could start a parallel career in one of these areas:
(a) Find and market products to cater to this group’s particular needs (e.g. ethnic food supplies, books and magazines, language courses). Offer services to this group (e.g. translation services, matchmaking services)

(b) Provide useful information about this ethnic group to businessmen and women (e.g. publish an annual “Doing Business with Guide).
Provides annual earnings because this becomes a recurring income stream.

Example 2

The percentage of people over 55 years old has been steadily increasing in the past ten years in a city/state/country.

Current job:

You are the product manager in a company that has been producing motorized wheelchairs for 15 years. Again this may not be in the ten hottest careers or highest paying career lists but one that you could leverage to develop a parallel career.

 Assets & Skillset:

(a) You know that over 80% of customers in this city/state/country are the elderly
(b) You know the frustrations and worries of the elderly
(c) You know what they need and want
(d) You know what they can afford
(e) You have access to a database of thousands of customers (from submitted warranty cards)
(f) You have access to a list of resellers

 Parallel career opportunity:

A parallel career could be started in any of these areas:
(a) Identify and market special equipment for the elderly (but not anything directly or indirectly in conflict with your company’s products). Provide remote-monitoring services for the elderly

Example 3

Trend: An insatiable demand for consumer electronic products and gadgets

Current job:

You are a technical support engineer of a national consumer electronics company. Yet again, this may not be among the ten hottest careers or highest paying career lists.

Assets & Skillset:

(a) You’ve intimate knowledge of common product problems
(b) You know the solutions to most of these problems
(c) You know most of the suppliers of electronic components for repairing faulty products

Parallel career opportunity:

From this trend…more ideas for parallel careers…

a) Publish a website on consumer electronics and offer an e-newsletter offering useful tips and information on repair, troubleshooting and looking for spare parts for common electronic products. You can write a series with such titles as “How to repair your PDA for less than $10?”  

Tip: (i) a ‘series’ gives a continuous opportunity to reach your audience (ii) publishing and distributing an e-newsletter is easy and cost very little these days

(b) Sell difficult-to-get consumer electronic spare parts on your website.(c)Create a “Repair Manual” and sell on your website as well.[Tip: once this manual is completed it cost almost nothing to produce and distribute to your customers on the internet – this means you can make handsome profits with this one product]

You have just seen in the examples that you can find parallel career opportunities in trends. Look beyond the ten hottest careers or highest paying career lists if you want more than just another job.

Consider these…

Who would have thought that there will be a huge demand for bottled water in a rain-drenched country (over 80 inches of rainfall a year) like Malaysia? Yet today, a liter of bottled water costs almost the same as a liter of petrol in this country.

And if you were old enough to remember in the early 1980s a mobile or a portable phone weighed and almost looked like a hundred pounds of bricks!! No one would have thought that there will be a market for mobile phone ringtones. Yet today, millions of teenagers and the not-too-techno-illiterates pay for and download their favorite ringtones.

So…begin to spot trends and combine them with your Assets and Skillset to find parallel career opportunities instead of looking at the Ten Hottest Career or the Highest Paying Career lists.

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