By: Karishhma Ashwin By: Karishhma Ashwin | November 24, 2021 |
The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the global economy and disrupted labor markets across all industries. The immediate consequences were evident, as millions of people were furloughed or lost their jobs. According to a new Pew Research Center study, roughly 9.6 million Americans lost jobs in the first three quarters of 2020.
However, as the world gradually recovers from the pandemic, novel job opportunities begin to emerge as, according to the US Department of Labor, the number of unemployed people decreased slightly to 8.4 million in August, following a significant decline in July. While businesses resume efforts to fill vacancies and grow their teams, Jackie Potter, founder and CEO of the recruiting firm JP Talent, points out that the post-COVID-19 job market is fundamentally different from before the pandemic. She adds that the new market offers a plethora of benefits to job seekers, but before making a final decision to return to the post-COVID-19 market, they must consider the following three things.
Remote Working Is Now Expected, Not a Bonus
The days when remote work was a perk offered by a select few companies to an even smaller number of employees are long gone. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 17% of US employees worked five days or more per week from home, a percentage that increased to 44% during the pandemic, according to Statista. Even though this change was forced at first, a Pew Research Center survey found that over 54% of remote workers intend to continue working from home after the coronavirus pandemic ends.
"As more and more studies show the benefits of remote work for companies, remote work offers numerous benefits to employees, too," says Potter. "Personally, one of the most important benefits that remote work offers is the more free time that it allows, which people can use to work toward professional development."
Employer's Market Became Worker's Market
For several decades, the job market was reasonably straightforward; employers held the upper hand. People were cautious about leaving their current jobs solely out of fear—fear of instability, fear of losing their job, fear of not being able to find another job. As Jackie Potter points out, those days are over, as a recent survey indicates that 52% of US workers are considering changing jobs this year, with up to 44% having concrete plans to do so.
"Times have changed, employees have evolved, and new markets have responded by allowing every employee to find a job that truly fulfills them," Potter explains. "However, job seekers should always consider their options carefully, as a significant number of employers continue to operate under the old set of rules."
Career Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
As Jackie Potter explains, employees should view their careers as a marathon rather than a sprint to the next best option. She continues by advising job seekers to ask themselves one vital question: "Am I happy?"
"Take a good look at yourself and ask yourself if you are content with where you are," she says. "If you are truly happy where you are and feel well cared for, it makes sense to stay. If not, now is the time to make a change."
Nonetheless, she emphasizes that regardless of the answer, employees should always be on the lookout for new opportunities, communicate with recruiters who will notify them when a suitable position becomes available, and network on a regular basis.
"We are living in a new era of limitless opportunity," Jackie Potter explains. "And always remember that you are in control of your career advancement, and more importantly, that the sky is the limit if you know where you want to go."