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Who do you want to be? And, do you know how you are going to get there?

What’s a boom, and what’s a bust in the monthly hiring report?

Digging into some of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data in advance of the Workforce Report. While transportation and logistics eked out a major bump over the past month, the 16,000 added positions were a middling range compared to several other sectors:

1) Leading the pack with a ~ 39,000 increase, unsurprisingly: healthcare

2) Coming in just under that, absorbing 34,000 new hires: professional services [for reference, project management would fit in here]

3) Hanging on in the top five, with a 22,000 person net increase in hiring over last month was Government across all three levels (Federal, State, and Local.)

4) Following the past two months’ trend, Arts (including #entertainment & #recreation) pulled in 20,000+

5) Given the above list, the “hiring boom” in warehouse and transportation is all the way at the bottom of this list with 16,000 new hires this month.

So, what does this all mean? The major uptick in healthcare hiring may have a correlation to the recent National Academy of Medicine report indicating that as many as 50% of medical personnel are experiencing symptoms of burnout. That presents a clear and present danger of errors, dissatisfaction with roles, and myriad other unhealthy actions. Or, as we say in the #construction industry: “that sounds like an unsafe situation.”

Project management has been widely written on, reported about, and studied as one of the major trends towards the future of work. The intense need to hire qualified talent in the field (look into the requirements for a PMP certification here) shows no signs of slowing down, and will only create higher pressure as factors such as AI, IoT, blockchain, RPA, VR, AR, and others become de rigeur as opposed to fringe. Having the capacity to effectively understand the management of schedules, budgets, risks, stakeholders, contracts, requirements, and doing all of that while remaining laser focused on the business case is invaluable as an asset to any firm.

Arts I have written about previously on two occasions and logistics is treated elsewhere. However, the real shocker this month is the ‘boom’ in government hiring. The net increase of 22,000 is only when you figure in the loss of 2,000 Federal roles, 1,800 of which have nothing to do with the US Postal Service. From another perspective: 24,000 new government employees at the state and local level were hired in the August-September period. This is particularly interesting and would require a bit more digging into the actual location data associated with the increase. Could it have to do with infrastructure projects? Change Management? Resiliency? Sustainability? This is something deserving a second look.

In sum, and, as I’ve mentioned in previous articles: what do you want to be when you grow up? It’s an interesting time to be in the job market if you are, and there are no shortage of skills gaps. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take some time to look — not only at what’s trending, — but also what’s missing in your own skill set for what you’re aiming at. Create a skills development plan, attach a timeline (dreams + deadline = goals!), figure out what resources you need in order to make the magic happen, and build yourself a successful career.

Leadership is hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

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