While the unemployment rate has certainly dropped precipitously from this time last year, people continue to quit their current jobs en masse, intent on finding something more fulfilling or more in line with work-life balance goals. As an increasing number of companies cut back benefits, decrease salaries, and rely more on part-time, contract, and freelance workers, jobseekers are left competing for fewer–what might reasonably be referred to a–“good jobs.” If you are looking for gainful, meaningful employment during the rest of 2021 and into 2022, below are the basics of your job search guide.
Expand Your Networking Channels
People will continue to use job sites and boards throughout 2021 and beyond, but many and perhaps even the majority of jobs to be found moving forward will be through professional networks. Hiring managers are hesitant to make bad hires, especially given the tight budgets in many industries, so people are more likely to trust known quantities over faceless applicants. While this is not to say there is no value in traditional job search channels, using one’s Linkedin, joining professional Slack groups, and starting up or contributing to conversations on professional forums are all important additions to the job search over the next two years.
A tip for using Linkedin: you can accomplish a lot by making your presence known as opposed to directly reaching out to hiring managers or companies you are interested in working for. If you spend time showcasing your knowledge and personality (professionally) in the comments below articles or thoughts posted by people you are trying to connect with, it can work even better than reaching out to them directly and unsolicited (which they may not like).
Using social media and particularly Facebook to make inroads into professional communities will be increasingly important throughout 2021 and 2022. While Facebook may have fallen out of favor among younger demographics as their primary social media gathering and socializing channel, professional groups on Facebook are still widely used by industry people and hiring managers. Depending on the group in question, there are also job postings that show up frequently and people asking group members to message them personally, sometimes with a portfolio included.
You can use these groups as part of your job search in 2021 and 2022 by showcasing your knowledge and experience in the various conversations, discussions, and even respectful arguments that start here. If you are able to position yourself as someone with superior knowledge and industry insight, hiring managers and other professionals will take note. You may end up finding that people are reaching out to you with job offers rather than the other way around.
Look for Remote Opportunities
More people are content to remain remote, vaccinated or not. The upsides of being able to work from home, or anywhere one wishes, are obvious–more flexibility when it comes to working hours, avoiding painful rush hour commutes twice a day, more time to spend with children throughout the day, and a reprieve from annoying office politics. Whether you are just entering the labor market for the first time or are someone who has experienced the joys of remote work, pay special attention to whether or not a job listing makes it clear you will be able to do the job remotely.
You may also be asked if you would prefer to work remotely, in-office, or in some hybrid role during an interview. It is important to consider that your answer to this question may affect your eligibility for the role, as some employers will prefer or demand that you make yourself available for in-office work. It is also crucial to remember that some career tracks, and especially leadership ones, will require you to spend time in mentorship relationships and interacting directly with people.
Many companies are turning to recruiters for their human capital needs, and recruiters are changing how they hire. Major changes to recruiting that have occurred during the pandemic, and that will likely continue indefinitely, include adaptations to the hiring process to account for the remote nature of work, reliance upon social networks, and video interviews, and even AI and text messages to connect with job seekers.
The above four considerations are crucial to finding and landing a job over the coming year and a half. Changes that have taken place during 2020 will continue to have an influence on where and how jobs are found throughout the rest of 2021 and 2022. Jobseekers need to be aware of how networking, Facebook (and to a lesser extent, Instagram), remote work, and the strategies of professional recruiters influence their visibility and job prospects. Keep these variables in mind, and you will increase your odds of finding employment that suits your personality, your lifestyle demands and allows you to put your talents, skills, and education to good use.