In the depths of the COVID pandemic, we saw how companies adapted—Zoom became our best friend, office space was downsized, remote and hybrid work were the new normal, and more. However, as corporations struggled to adapt to a new reality, at the very same time, employees were taking stock of their lives and careers because of the unprecedented modern health crisis. We saw what many termed “The Great Resignation.”
I am not sure that term is entirely accurate, however. Like others, I reframed it as “The Great Reprioritization.” Without being tethered (those for whom this was possible) to the office, without costly and lengthy commutes, with flexibility, many people chose to make changes. Some left their jobs entirely in favor of ones that offered hours and culture/environment more conducive to a personal life. In order to attract new hires, companies were dangling many “perks” and extras. In addition to working remotely, signing bonuses were common for a time, along with generous time off and other enticements.
Now we’re seeing, at least in comparison, a cooling of the job market. Signing bonuses are not as common as they were at the height of the global pandemic (in fact, I think they’ve mostly stopped). Some large companies are bracing for lay-offs. So, if you are looking for a job . . . should you be panicking?
In a word: No.
I often tell people that when I worked in the automotive industry, at the time, the entire industry was in a slump. However, I found a fantastic job at a juncture when the naysayers would have said job searching was unlikely to be fruitful.
Here’s why: If you’re good at your job, if you’re talented, if you’re capable, if you show up for work on time, if you deliver what you say you’re going to deliver, there’s always going to be work for you.
I think there are some adjustments to the Great Resignation happening now. So, if you want to make a change right now, you need to cultivate references and do the work of locating a new job. The days of quitting without lining up another position are definitely past. There’s some anxiousness, but it’s still an exciting time to make a switch.
What we’re seeing right now on the employment front is the following:
- We are still at historically low unemployment rates in Europe and the United States. [Link: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Unemployment_statistics# ; https://www.bls.gov/cps/]
- According to Employ.com [link: https://www.jobvite.com/lp/employ-quarterly-insights-report-q3-2022/], challenges remain for a tight labor market. Employers are having to make their positions and companies as attractive as possible to attract and retain top talent.
- More companies are freezing hiring [https://www.businessinsider.com/recession-2022-companies-prepare-economic-downturn-netflix-layoffs-meta-hiring-2022-5#microsoft-lets-hundreds-of-contractors-go-4 ].
- We are not seeing wide-scale layoffs. But hiring isn’t as bullish as it was in the worst of the pandemic.
- On the corporate side, attracting workers is getting a little easier—and turnover is slowing [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/03/business/economy/job-market-recession.html ].
If you are thinking of making a job switch, the positive news is this: if you are the “pink unicorn”—the right employee with unique capabilities for the right spot—companies should still find a way to bring you aboard. Now’s the time to polish your resume—and for companies to seek the right fit rather than a warm body.