We’re right in the middle of what’s been called “The Great Resignation,” with a record number of workers saying goodbye to their employers. According to a recent report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.3 million Americans (or around 2.9% of the workforce) quit their jobs in August. This is a startling figure, reflective of the plethora of reasons why people are leaving their jobs, including family or work/life balance issues, general job dissatisfaction, a desire for more remote work flexibility, or other significant life changes.
The good news is that if you’re looking to shift jobs, you’re in luck. It’s a job seeker’s market out there now — and that’s going to continue well into 2022.
Job Seekers Rejoice: You Got This
One silver lining of the pandemic is that it’s put hopeful employees in the driver’s seat, says Olga Etkina, the founder of Black Swan Careers. “Companies are going through their very own reckoning, as they have to come to terms with whether or not they are doing enough to keep employees happy and attract new talent,” she explains.
But what does this mean for you? You’ve got room to negotiate all of the different must-haves on your dream job list. Do you want to work remotely two days a week? Ask for better pay? More flexibility on your hours? Whatever would make you the happiest (and the most successful!) in your position, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
“Whether you’re a rock star with top companies on your resume looking for the perfect next opportunity, an underdog just waiting for your moment to shine, or a career changer wishing for someone to take that chance on you, 2022 will be a year everyone can and should take advantage of this heavy candidate-sided market,” Etkina adds.
Vaccination Status Will Be A Factor
While the COVID-19 vaccination continues to be a heated political debate, it’s a no-brainer requirement for many employers. Many companies, particularly in healthcare and education, are already requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated, notes Amanda Augustine, a career expert for TopResume. And according to at least one recent survey, 33% of hiring managers will eliminate resumes that don’t include a COVID-19 vaccination status. In fact, Augustine wouldn’t be surprised if sharing your vaccination status on your job-search materials, such as your resume and your LinkedIn profile, becomes standard practice in 2022. (A quick search on LinkedIn shows that many people are already doing it!)
“While this information is personal and it’s completely up to you, the job seeker, to decide whether or not you feel comfortable disclosing such details, it’s important to note that a growing number of employers expect to see it,” she continues. “If you’re not comfortable disclosing your vaccination status, target positions where this may be a non-issue, such as fully remote positions or listings that don’t mention such a requirement.”
Perks Will Be Plentiful — But Proceed With Caution
Since job seekers are leading the game right now, companies are doing all they can to attract ideal candidates. As Etkina explains, many are relying heavily on highlighting all of their perks, and while perks can be great, employees should tread carefully. Good perks do not always translate to a positive culture, so make sure you ask questions.
“Often candidates conflate ping pong tables, free lunch, and happy hours as a sign of good culture. And why wouldn’t they? The attraction factor is so high when it comes to things that are so overtly fun and shiny,” she says. “Too often I see candidates accept job offers because they envision themselves hanging out and playing ping pong with peers, happily eating lunch with their coworkers, and rubbing shoulders with senior leadership during company-sponsored happy hours.”
But it doesn’t always work that way — company culture is born from how you’re treated, not how many nap pods there are, Etkina cautions. Before you get too excited about perks, as the following questions:
- How does the company handle work-life balance?
- How do they address burnout?
- Do employees feel psychologically safe?
- How does the company prioritize creating a culture that ensures all employees feel seen, heard, and valued?
Location, Location, Location (Doesn’t Matter Anymore)
Historically, many top jobs have been focused only in major metropolitan areas, like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and others. However, as remote work becomes increasingly popular and companies forgo creating a physical headquarters, Augustine says we’ll see greater distribution of these professionals across the United States. “More careers will become location-agnostic, allowing many of us who have sampled remote work during the pandemic to continue working from home on a full-time basis,” she says. “Before you consider relocating for work, tap into your network and scour online job boards to see what available opportunities offer a virtual location or speak to your boss about transitioning to permanent remote work.”
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