The Great Resignation began early in 2021 as millions of Americans began to quit their jobs and still more are rethinking their career choices and traditional employment in response to the pandemic.
More than 11.5 million workers quit their jobs between April and June 2021, and a Gallup survey found that 48 percent of employees were actively seeking new opportunities. The reality is that workplace and career spaces are rapidly changing.
If you’re searching for a new job or switching careers, how does this affect you? Here are five job search tips, trends, and strategies you need to know.
1. Entry Points for Job Seekers Are ChangingIn the past, many job descriptions included questionable degree requirements. This is starting to change. A recent trend shows that some employers are dropping the four-year degree requirement for positions that previously required them.
Instead, companies are hiring people who have applied experience. Internships, project work, specialized training, and certifications such as Google’s IT, Support, Data Analysis, and Project Management programs allow job seekers to gain applied experience.
Some of these companies, including Hubspot, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Accenture are creating company-led training programs to prioritize skills and abilities over degrees, opening up another entry point.
2. The Importance of Lifelong LearningCompanies recognize the importance of hiring lifelong learners to close the skills gap in the face of rapid changes in the workplace. This isn’t the only driver behind the growing skills gap in the workplace.
There are two main factors contributing to the skills gap. First, there is the increasing number of college graduates seeking their first jobs. In this case, there is a big disconnect between the skills students are taught and those that employers are seeking in new hires.
- Ninety-six percent of universities believe they produce employable people.
- Eleven percent of employers believe universities produce employable people.
- Eighty percent of employees don’t believe they have the skills to do their job.
The second factor consists of tenured employees who are not keeping up with evolving skills and technologies needed in the workplace. Often this is an organizational challenge, states Michelle Weiss in her book, Life Long Learning. “Forty-four percent of employers offer zero upskilling or reskilling and what is offered is compliance based,” she says.
Lifelong learners will remain competitive and marketable in the job market through their own initiative. Pursue project work, use online learning platforms, and participate in training and certificate programs to upskill and reskill.
3. Move Fast or Fall BehindIn 2014, LinkedIn’s Top 10 jobs were roles that hadn’t existed five years earlier.
As new roles like data architect, cloud manager, and UI/UX designer emerge, others fall away. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that wind turbine technician positions will grow by 68 percent by 2030. Other growth categories include training, renewable energy, data science, healthcare, and learning and development. To research future trends, check out both BLS and Onet.
According to the BLS, one of the fastest growing needs is training and development. Training and development specialists and managerial positions are projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.
As you evaluate career options, consider the growth potential and long-term need. Prepare your marketing materials (resume, LinkedIn profile, interview responses) by highlighting your technology skills, agility, sound decision making, and creativity.
4. Mindset: Control What You Can ControlThe hiring process has been broken for years and only seems to be getting worse. According to a CEO survey on talent by PwC, “93 percent of CEOs recognize the need to change their strategy for attracting and retaining talent; 61 percent have not taken any action.”
The average job search has been hovering at about 29 weeks. A critical step to success is to prepare yourself mentally.
Create a focused mindset knowing your job search won’t be perfect. You will encounter technology roadblocks, complicated processes, and frequent surprises that will not make your day. Accept these and move on. Focus on the things you can control, and don’t stress over the things you can’t control.
5. Social Proof for a Successful Job SearchCompanies actively search for “social proof” online to verify your skills, characteristics, and potential culture fit. Curate your online profile carefully, but don’t hold back so much that you become invisible. According to a CareerBuilder survey, “ Nearly half of employers (47 percent) say that if they can’t find a job candidate online, they are less likely to call that person in for an interview.”
Use social media to build credibility and a positive reputation. Keep in mind that LinkedIn will be the first place employers look for you online.
Use LinkedIn to highlight your transferable skills and expertise aligned to your job or career target. For example, one recent client who just landed their dream job held a BA in accounting and a work history in retail management. The target, which they just landed, was an operations position at Amazon.
The client secured the position, reduced commute time, increased salary, and achieved a better work-life balance by following the steps in this article. You can too!