For the first time in a very long time (probably for the first time ever for many people in the job market), the tide has turned and power now rests squarely in the hands of the job seeker. In September 2021, 4.4 million employees resigned from their jobs, one of the highest numbers ever. In October 2021, 11 million open jobs were reported. So, it’s no surprise that you see a “help wanted” sign everywhere you look. Supply and demand has shifted and gives you, the job seeker, a lot of power.
Now, don’t go wild, just walk out of your office and tell your boss what you really think of them. While conditions have changed, the old rules still apply.
- Still be a good employee. Do not think “they won’t fire me, because they can’t find somebody else”.
- Take inventory of your skills, values, and what you want out of a job. Now is a good time to switch careers.
- Skim job ads and ask around your network to see if there are any good openings for you. But do it quietly without your current employer finding out. Make a change if it aligns with your priorities and values.
- If you change jobs, absolutely negotiate salary, bonus and benefits. This is where you can really take advantage of the dearth of good candidates.
- Re-negotiate salary and benefits in your current job. Ask for add-ons such as: education stipends, tuition reimbursement, future sabbaticals, etc.
- Learn new skills. Employers might even be willing to pay for training right now.
- Burn bridges with your old job. So, don’t just quit from one day to the next. Instead, give them notice and let them know why you are leaving (who knows, maybe they will match a competitor’s salary, are willing to adjust your job duties or agree to flexible work hours in order to keep you).
- Badmouth your employer and/or boss. That is always bad form (and will likely come back to hurt you at some point).
- Job-hop. It is tempting to keep moving jobs for ever higher pay and might work for a while. But it will look bad on your resume eventually. And as tides will turn back into an employer’s market, this will make you look like an unreliable and unattractive hire in the future.
- Ghost potential employers. If you schedule a job interview, either show up or cancel the appointment. Don’t just ghost the company. Online application tracking systems have a long memory. This kind of behavior will likely get you barred from being hired there for a while.
Times are great for employees and job seekers right now. But this will inevitably change again. So take advantage of what is possible but don’t burn bridges with bad behavior.
If you need help re-evaluating your career or searching for a new job, the Career Center is here to help. Contact us at 225-231-3733 or at www.careercenterbr.com or check out our YouTube channel at careercenterbr.com/youtube.
Written by Anne Nowak