Job Trends We Are Seeing In The Current Economy

As a career coach and strategist, I have had the great pleasure of helping thousands of people find their dream job. Whether my clients are searching during seasons of economic prosperity or uncertainty, new trends are always entering the job market — and most are seemingly for the better. It is exciting to watch businesses shift their focus and improve their offerings, knowing that my clients — when given the right tools and resources — are fully prepared for a successful search.

After the housing crash in 2008, I was convinced, along with countless others, that life would permanently change. And while certain aspects of life did, the economy rebounded in full force, resulting in unprecedented growth. This has, without a doubt, been a year unlike any other — however, just like in seasons past, changes will take place, and life will resume with a new sense of normalcy.

The good news is that the economy has already started to reopen, whereas in 2008, it took quite some time before businesses began to feel more stable. Unemployment figures are slowly declining, and companies have initiated hiring once again.

As such, I cannot help but notice certain trends emerging, which are important to make note of if you are currently searching for work. Here are the top five.

There is a strong emphasis on soft skills, rather than just on hard ones.

Soft skills have always been important with any job search, though there seems to be more of an emphasis on them since the economy started to reopen. I believe the current pandemic, as well as the long-overdue calls for equality, have made companies recognize the need for employees to have emotional intelligence and social graces. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively, foster positive work environments and remain sensitive to employee needs will be just as important as hard skills (programming, mathematics, a foreign language, etc.) for businesses to succeed.

Diversity, inclusion and a positive corporate culture is being promoted through words and (thankfully) action.

The health pandemic we are currently facing, though unlike anything we have ever seen before, is only a part of 2020 (what a year!). The horrific death of George Floyd brought much-needed calls for action, as systemic racism and the need for change is now the focus of our society and the world at large. Companies understand that their role is to provide a physically and emotionally safe space for employees, while remaining committed to diversity and inclusion initiatives. Blind hiring processes are starting to be implemented, as well as corporate cultures that draw attention to the need for progress and reform.

The importance of data collection and analysis to make key decisions.

There is no question that data has been king for quite some time now. Used for marketing, risk management, e-commerce, continuous improvement and much more, data provides accurate ways to measure, review and evaluate programs and results. The need for data, and the importance of data, has only been further accentuated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, there have been calls for reform around how data is amassed and reviewed, since data — when collected in a fair, balanced manner — provides feedback that is not political or biased. If you only have a basic understanding of data and metrics, I strongly recommend taking online courses to improve your data literacy.

Workplace flexibility, as employers shift to a virtual work model that will continue long after Covid-19.

As someone who has been working from home exclusively for the past several years, I am thrilled for those of you who are getting your first taste of the “work from home experience.” While working remotely has its challenges, the flexibility it offers for both employers and employees alike helps enhance productivity while reducing overhead costs.

Remote opportunities only seem to be increasing with a large majority of companies stating that positions will remain remote even after the pandemic is through. Whether businesses adopt a fully remote or hybrid work-from-home model remains to be seen, but it is safe to say that virtual opportunities will be the norm moving forward.

Increased opportunities for professional development.

Since more and more employees will be working remotely, whether on a full-time or part-time basis, employers will have to find ways to ensure that their employees feel connected with one another and the company at large. One of the ways they are doing this is by providing employees with professional development opportunities. I have seen numerous job postings that state employers will provide employees with a “professional development credit” each year to be used to further enhance their skills. It is a great way for employees to feel as if they are being “invested” in, helping to build long-term partnerships and brand loyalty.

Though trends come and go, I do believe these five are just the beginning of workplace shifts, as innovative minds and organizations begin to set the foundation for what life will be as we enter into this new season. I am reminded of a quote by Saint Francis of Assisi that says, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Who would have thought that big business would begin adopting policies that put people first? A year ago, that seemed impossible… but here we are. A crisis of health and equality have driven us to value what truly matters. People. Here’s to wonderful new beginnings.