Time to Start Looking?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported (June 6, 2018) that for the first time since such record keeping began in 2000, the number of available positions exceeded the number of job seekers.  The obvious implication for this is that it might be a good time to start a job search.  Let’s take a quick look however behind the numbers.  The labor department reported 6.7M openings and 6.3M unemployed individuals.  Of those openings, 844,000 are in hotel and food services, 735,000 in retail.  That still leaves 5,121,000 job openings, and at least one should have your name on it.

Also, however, a list of the most in-demand skills includes the following:  cloud and distributed computing; statistical analysis and data mining;  middleware and integration software; web architecture and development framework; user interface design; software revision control systems; data presentation; SEO/SEM marketing; mobile development; and network and information security.  Rapidly growing job categories are expected to be in solar photovoltaic installers, wind turbine service technicians, home health aides, personal care aides, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, statisticians, and physical therapist assistants.  These two lists clearly limit opportunities among those 5M+ opportunities.

Despite these limitations, now might be a good time to look at your current situation.  Different surveys show 50-85% of all workers dislike their jobs, while only 15% felt fully engaged.  Consider the following reasons to begin a search:

  • You are not building marketable skills and career options (see above lists)
  • You are one of the many “disengaged” employees
  • Most employees dislike their job primarily because of their boss.  Consider a move if yours is self-centered, has ethical challenges, is not developmental, is critical of employees in public, is unfocused, unpredictable, and without strategy
  • If you are bored, not excited, or challenged
  • If you in a declining industry, profession, or company
  • If your business is for sale, or you have a new boss/CEO or owner
  • If you are not building a more powerful network

“Dusting off your resume” is not a career management and search strategy.  You need to think seriously about your goals, the career and competitive environment, then build a plan and your network to make the most of this opportunity.  These are important decisions, if necessary, find a professional advisor.