2021 was the year of the Great Resignation, or as some call it, the Great Reshuffle – but what does that mean for job seekers present day? Is it an optimal time to change careers? With concerns about an impending recession and rising costs of living, many variables are at play for candidates. Organizations have generally increased wages to address inflation – in fact, the largest median pay increase in 20 years. There are roughly two open positions per unemployed worker in the US, according to Bloomberg.
These are some helpful questions to help you navigate whether a career move is the right one for you.
What are your career goals?
It’s a tried-and-true approach, but start with your short- and long-term goals. If you need a little assistance identifying these, here is a practical framework and some examples to reference. Ask yourself what current strengths you have, and what are others you would like to develop? Do you want to stay in the industry you’re in or dip your feet into another one? Be honest with the recruiter or hiring manager about your level of experience in that field and the ways you can use your skills to meet the needs of the position.
Reaching out to a trusted mentor, friend, or family member can also provide you with a helpful third-party perspective. LinkedIn Groups are a great resource to turn to for advice and learning; depending on the group, you may need to request to join before you can post and share.
People often point to a company’s culture as the reason they stay, join, or leave the organization. What matters the most to you about your workplace? Remember, the interview is as much about you identifying if the company is the right fit for you and vice versa. During the interview process, don’t be afraid to ask what it’s like to be a part of that team, what’s the interviewer’s favorite part about working for the company, and what a typical day looks like.
On another note, culture can look different across industries – think of a tech startup and a hospital environment. What values are non-negotiables and which are nice-to-haves? Take the time to ponder these, as we all spend most of our waking hours working. The last thing you would want is constant tension between yourself and your colleagues or leaders.
Remote-first, hybrid, or in-office, oh my!
Flexibility may be the single greatest factor for job seekers post-pandemic, and most people indicate that they prefer hybrid arrangements. What are the expectations of the job in terms of remote, hybrid, or in-office policies? Are working hours more or less 9 to 5 or are they fluid depending on your scheduling needs? Nowadays, these factors are often included in job descriptions, but ask the recruiter or hiring manager if you need any clarification.
Again, the industry you are interviewing for and the needs of the role may determine the type of working arrangements offered. Be transparent about your preferences and circumstances (e.g. family care, childcare) at the beginning of the interview so there are no surprises once you have accepted a position. There are many resources available regarding different work styles, such as the Future Forum blog and the not-for-profit organization 4 Day Week Global. Darren Murph, Head of Remote at Gitlab – the largest fully remote company in the world – is a wonderful resource to follow on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. He shares how he structures his daily workflow in this episode of the Building Culture Podcast.
Know your worth
What are your salary expectations and do they align with your skills and experience? Beginning January 2023, states like Colorado and Washington will require employers to list compensation ranges on job descriptions. Even if you are not based out of one of these states, it is still crucial to do your research! What are the average pay rates for a role, a company, or your state? This information is crucial to being prepared for an interview. Start by looking on Comparably if you aren’t already familiar with the numbers.
Your professional goals, company culture, working style, and salary expectations are only the launching point in the process of job searching. Have you asked yourself these questions before and if so, what was the outcome? What other helpful pointers would you recommend to people who are actively looking for work? Are there any questions you specifically have for a recruiter? Another Source is dedicated to partnering with you to find the right role at the right time. You can browse open positions on our Jobs page or sign up to receive updates on new opportunities.