The New Year is almost here! And, like last year, the world has changed. Our personal lives and our work lives will continue to look much different than they did in 2019. We’ve found a new normal. So, what does this mean for hiring in 2022? There are a few trends you should be on the lookout for.
Find Your Style: One of the great things that has come out of the pandemic is remote work. But, remote work isn’t for everyone. The good news is, not every company is remote. This means that you, the job seeker, have an opportunity to decide which working style works the best for you. I firmly believe this split of in office, remote, and hybrid work environments will stick around long after the pandemic is over. This is the time to pick your perfect work environment.
Extend Your Search Area: In the past, if there were no jobs in your local area, you had two choices. You could stay with your current employer, or you could move. But, remote work breaks down the barrier of distance. If you’re in a small market, you can now fish for jobs anywhere in the country. This opens up the possibilities. In some cases, it can also mean an increase in salary. If you’re looking for remote opportunities, look beyond your local market. And, just because a job posting has a city attached to it does not mean there’s no chance of remote work.
Try New Roles: The job market is tight right now. Companies are having a tough time finding talent. This means that when a company tries to find a perfect candidate, they very likely will come up empty handed. For the job seeker, this is great. If you’ve thought of trying a new career field, this is the time to try. Hiring managers are much more likely to give an underdog applicant a shot when it’s hard to find the perfect candidate.
Remote Learning: For years, companies have expected their employees to take charge of their education. When employees stay at an organization for fewer years, the company has less incentive to invest in training. They expect you to show up, ready to work. The problem is, in a remote world, it can be hard to increase your skills and knowledge. It’s like you’re on an island, focused only on your existing work. But, there are many free online courses available. Use them to keep yourself up to date while you’re growing your career.
Whatever you do, don’t sell yourself short in 2022. I know that the last two years have been scary. We’ve faced a lot of unknown together, and in quite an isolated fashion. But, companies are still hiring. And, you are still valuable. Accept that what is normal has changed. Make a new set of goals for the New Year, and let’s move forward together.
The last few years, I’ve noticed a surprising phenomenon. Have you tried asking someone if they are an introvert or an extrovert? It’s a reasonably straightforward question that typically comes with a simple answer – until now.
An extrovert will still answer the question with, “I’m an extrovert.” An introvert with answer this same question with one of the following phrases. Some with say, “I’m an extraverted introvert.” Others will say, “I’m an introvert, but I’m not weird.” And, some will say, “I don’t know” in an effort to avoid the question completely.
Both introverts and extraverts have qualities that all companies need. They both bring good things to the table. The biggest noticeable difference is typically the way these groups express themselves. Being one or the other doesn’t mean you’ll be better at your job. And, if public speaking is involved, an introvert can sometimes present so well that you’d assume they’re an extrovert.
I’m just not sure how we got here. How did half the population become uncomfortable with themselves in this way?
And frankly, how did companies decide this line of thinking makes sense? A few years ago, I interviewed for a job at a well-known financial services company. During the job interview, the hiring manger told me about the team I was to manage. He explained that one person on the team is an introvert, so I may want to get rid of them. He said that introverts don’t do well at that company. I turned down that offer. I didn’t want to work for someone who believed this.
This wasn’t a one-time observation though. Many companies prefer extraverts. There are times when management may gauge the quality of your work by how much you talk. Rather than just look at the results you deliver, air time in meetings becomes critical to success.
As part of the working world, we need to do something to change this stigma. Being an introvert does not mean you’re shy, or that you have anxiety. Being an introvert means that you recharge alone, while extroverts recharge around people. It’s where you get your energy from.
When an introvert is quiet in a meeting, it does not mean they’re not participating, or that they aren’t listening. Sometimes, it means they’re thinking. They may be more productive, or may be coming up with even better ideas than their extroverted peers. And, just because they might not speak up in front of a big group doesn’t mean they aren’t working behind the scenes. Many introverts prefer to lay the groundwork by talking to people individually, rather than in front of a big audience.
If you’re a manager, take the time to appreciate your introverts, and normalize this personality trait. It’s not a drawback. It can be a strength. If you’re an introvert, it’s time to stop buying into this message. Being an introvert is not a personality flaw.
Thanksgiving of 2020 was a special kind of torture. We’d all be isolated for months. It didn’t feel safe to be around loved ones yet. It was getting dark early, and it was cold outside. While 2021 still has significant challenges, we’re making progress. For the first time in two years, many people will see family in person on Thanksgiving Day.
In addition to this, the job market is especially good right now. In a way, it’s quite shocking considering everything that we’ve collectively been through. With this in mind, I encourage you to allow this Thanksgiving to inspire your job search. Find your next opportunity, and help those around you who are struggling to find theirs.
Be Grateful: Focus on the positive things about your current job. Perhaps you like your boss, your team, or that you’re able to work remotely. Even in negative situation, there are usually a few things to be thankful for. Move your attention to the good stuff.
Reconnect: Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the holiday season. Take the opportunity to reconnect with friends, coworkers, and loved ones you haven’t seen in a while – by phone, email, video, or in person. Not only is it good for your soul, it’s good for your network. When you’re looking for a job, it’s critical that you keep your network up to date.
Reflect: Holidays are a great time to think back about the past year, and to make plans for the future. What went well? What would you do differently? Write these things down, along with goals for next year. When would you like to find a new job? What are the attributes you’d prefer in your next job?
Help Others: Networking is a big part of finding a job. When we’re in the middle of our own search, we forget about those around us. Take the time to help those in your life who are also looking. In return, they will help you.
Relax: Looking for a job can be a long, and at times, stressful, process. Don’t forget to take a little time for yourself. It will help you to keep moving forward in your search when you return to work.
Give Thanks: Take the time to thank those in your life who help you every day. Whether it’s a friend, coworker, or supervisor, take the time to wish them a happy Thanksgiving — and thank them for the impact they make on your life. You might even consider giving thanks in the form of a written recommendation on LinkedIn.
Stay Positive: The holiday season can be a tough one if you’re looking for a job. It feels like a time of increased financial responsibilities and decreased opportunities. But, staying positive will draw good people to you. It will help to lay the foundation for your job search, so they will think of you when they’re hiring. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Just a few years ago, we would have never guessed that there would be anything called the Great Resignation. But, here we are. It feels like everyone is looking for a new job, in every industry, all at the same time.
We’ve waited for the tables to turn back in favor of the employee, and we’re finally here. More than 4.4 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs in September, according to the Department of Labor. This was the highest voluntary quit on record.
But, how did we get here? This is not the shocking overnight phenomenon that appears to be happening. We’ve been building to this point over many years. And, the pandemic has taken it to the next level.
Employees are staying at jobs for less time than in the past. In fact, staying too long is viewed as a negative by many employers. The bar to be a job hopper is much lower, and frankly, the experience that comes with multiple jobs is valued by many hiring managers.
Most workers grew up seeing their parents or grandparents being taken advantage of at work. Mom or dad committed to a company for their entire career, only to be laid off when that same company needed to save a little money. It is no longer reasonable for any company to expect loyalty when they cannot provide the same in return to workers.
Today’s workers view themselves as the CEO of their own careers. This is even true with regards to education. Often, companies expect new hires to hit the ground running. They take less time for training and development. That responsibility has transitioned to the worker.
And, today’s workers expect respect – for themselves, and their peers. Never in history have employees felt more strongly that employers should take a stand on issues related to social justice or equality.
I hope to see the age of the empowered worker continue into the future. But, one thing that always empowers workers is personal choice. It’s the opportunity to choose what’s next in your own career. And, when the job market was in favor of the company, you needed a strong network and recommendations to do that.
Don’t forget that the current market will not be here forever. This exciting time reminds me of 2008, when the housing market grew very quickly. Home prices rose at a rate that was not sustainable, and eventually, they fell dramatically. The bubble burst. Those who counted on it to continue to grow were burned.
Take advantage of this opportunity. Look for your next role. Get a pay raise. Take calculated risks, but, don’t burn bridges. Your network is part of your career. It will help you to take the next step, and you will still need it when the Great Resignation ends. Stay on good terms with your boss, and your colleagues. It’s an investment in your future career path.
Years ago, I interviewed for a job in Pittsburgh. I flew in late at night, with the interview scheduled first thing the next morning. As I unpacked, I realized I had forgotten the pants to my suit. My mind was racing as I went through the options of what to do.
Could I wear the pants I’d flown there in? No, they were sweatpants. Could I call a cab to take me to a mall? No, it was late and everything was closed. Could I have a pair of pants shipped to me from home? No, all the shippers were closed for the day.
This brainstorming went on for an hour. I wracked my brain as I tried to think of a creative solution to this big problem.
It turned out, packages could be dropped off directly at the airport until around midnight for FedEx, and could be delivered by six the next morning. The only catch was getting the pants to the airport.
My apartment manager was the only one with a key to my apartment, but I didn’t have her phone number. So, I called a neighbor who was friends with another neighbor who had a dog that the building manager walked every day. I knew he would have the building manager’s phone, and I knew my other neighbor had the dog owner’s phone number.
After a few calls, I found the building manager’s phone number. I called and asked her to give my key to a friend who was willing to drive the pants to the airport. My friend entered my apartment and called to locate the correct pair of pants. Then, he drove them to FedEx, and mailed them.
Afterward, I alerted the hotel desk to contact me the moment the pants arrived—which they did. The interview went smoothly and nobody noticed anything unusual.
One of the questions they asked was, “Tell us about a time you encountered a problem and were able to find a creative way to solve it.” It was the perfect opportunity to share my story. The interviewers were both surprised and impressed. What started as a nightmare turned out to be a big win!
I don’t remember if I got that job, but I do remember that the interview went well.
The lesson: When it comes to job interviews, don’t expect everything to go perfectly. There’s often something that will go wrong. If you can plan on that thing, it’s much easier to roll with the punches and have a positive experience.
Interviewing is not about answering every question correctly. The hiring manager is more likely to remember how they felt about you than how you answered each question. It’s like going to a live comedy show. You don’t remember each joke, but you remember whether you had a good time.