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January 25, 2022

What The Job Seekers Market Shift Means For Your Career

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve almost certainly heard that we’re in the middle of a “Great Resignation” — 4.5 million workers in the United States quit their jobs in November 2021 alone. But if you’re a higher-level professional like a director, vice president or executive looking to transition to your […]

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve almost certainly heard that we’re in the middle of a “Great Resignation” — 4.5 million workers in the United States quit their jobs in November 2021 alone. But if you’re a higher-level professional like a director, vice president or executive looking to transition to your next six-figure role, you might have wondered if this general trend still applies to you. Well, there’s good news: It does.

What’s happening in the labor market is a trend across the board, and there’s a record number of roles available at practically all levels. Now is a great time to advance your career and get the role you’ve always dreamed of, whether it’s an even higher position or a role in a new industry. 

More Roles Than Ever Before

If you’re somewhat familiar with real estate, you’ll know that a “buyer’s market” is a term for when the supply of houses is greater than the number of people willing to buy them. Therefore, buyers can leverage their position to demand the best prices.

Something similar is happening in the job market right now. Thanks to the wave of resignations (including people retiring) and the increased demand from the economy opening up again, employers have increasingly been left with more vacancies than they can fill. Where applicants previously had to agonize over their resumes and employers could reject someone in a matter of seconds due to the high volume of applications, the tables have turned.

Many workers have become tired of being forced to accept positions and wages that didn’t leave them fulfilled previously, but they put up with them due to conditions not being in their favor. Burnout from the pandemic was an ultimate low. Now that times have changed, they’re taking the opportunity to leave the workforce — either temporarily or permanently — and find something that suits them better. Maybe you’re one of them.

What It Means For You

Although it’s true that the “Big Quit” has happened across the board, some sectors and positions have been particularly affected. Mid-career employees (between the ages of 30 and 45) have resigned more than any other group, and those aged 45+ have also seen an increase in resignations. Contrary to popular opinion, young workers aren’t the ones throwing in the towel this time. And due to the switch to remote work, companies are looking for experienced and well-trained managers to guide the rest of their teams rather than young, fresh-faced workers.

As far as specific sectors go, the tech and healthcare industries have experienced the highest resignation rates — most likely because they were at the forefront of the pandemic and employees in these industries were more likely to get burned out. But 31% of small business owners in the U.S. have reported that they’re struggling to fill vacancies, so these sectors are far from the only ones affected.

While conditions are good, it’s the perfect time to pull off that move that you’ve been dreaming of for a while but have been reluctant to take action on. And if you’re higher up in your career and hoping to transition to an industry with more resignees, the data suggests it’s a particularly good time to make your move. Update that LinkedIn profile, fire off some emails to old contacts and start sending in those applications.

What To Expect From The Future

You won’t just find it easier to secure a job thanks to current labor market conditions — you can also expect firms to approach the venture differently. Companies are now fighting over applicants and going all-out to offer the most attractive packages possible. For instance, there’s been an increase in companies offering hiring bonuses.

Companies also no longer expect remote work or hybrid work (a mix of remote and in-person work) to be a temporary measure until things go back to normal. For the most part, they’ve recognized that it’s here to stay and that employees are expecting better work-life balance. In fact, over 70% of workers want to be able to work remotely. If employers want to attract the best talent, they're going to have to offer flexibility.

You can also expect to find employers that pay more attention to employee well-being and burnout prevention, considering these have been causes of the Great Resignation we’re experiencing now.

When To Act

While things are looking rosier for job seekers than they have in a very long time, I do have one caveat: It’s important to remember that while we’re still in the middle of the event, it’s impossible to have a complete understanding of what it all means. While there’s currently an assumption that the bulk of the labor turnover is due to workers choosing to quit, it’s possible that some people have actually been forced or pressured to leave their jobs — meaning that employees may not have as strong a position as we think. So, be cautious of overestimating how important you are to a potential employer.

Another consideration is that many are predicting economic fallout due to increasing inflation, which could affect the labor market in the future. Basically, there’s no telling what could happen in a few years (or even a few months’ time).

Things won’t stay this way forever, so don’t waste this unique opportunity by sitting back and reflecting on how great things could be in theory. Take action and start chasing the role you really want. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the many firms out there who are desperate to take on someone with your experience and skill set.

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.

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