A few days ago, I read about a job fair in the Midwest where 50 companies were present, in need of hiring 500 employees. But only 20 job applicants showed up.
Call it COVID fears, childcare issues, the $300 unemployment supplement, or simply wait-and-see stubbornness. Whatever the case, there has never been a better time for workers at all levels to reconsider their job future.
Clearly, we are in an employees’ market. Just walk around town and you’ll see dozens, perhaps hundreds, of “now hiring” signs, practically begging candidates to apply.
Plenty of companies are struggling to hire basic workers, especially in hospitality and manufacturing, and they’re also looking for sharp, eager, energetic up-and-comers from unrelated fields to help revive their post-COVID businesses.
If you’re thinking about making a change, ask yourself if you really want to go back to that same boring, unfulfilling job, even if it now pays more?
Take full advantage of these new job openings
Maybe now is the time to seek out new opportunities and take full advantage of these new job openings.
Maybe, after working from home over the past 15 months or so, the idea of not having to go back to the office and never, ever again getting stuck in that awful commute sounds pretty good.
Maybe you’re stuck in an industry that’s stagnant and no longer challenges you.
Maybe it’s time to use your same skill-sets, but in a different department or maybe a different company.
Maybe you’re OK with the department you’re in, but not so pleased doing the exact job you’ve been doing for too long.
Maybe now is the time to seriously consider that dream of starting your own business and being your own boss, with the freedom to set your own salary and your own hours.
Or maybe those foodie friends of yours who can’t stop raving about your homemade strawberry jam are right. Maybe now is the right time to start jammin’.
Granted, that’s a lot of maybes.
But there’s no maybe about the next steps: First, talk to yourself and then talk to management and HR about where your skills, with some added training, might better be utilized by the company.
And, just as importantly, provide you with renewed challenges and upward mobility.
I’m betting your current company will be thrilled to have you re-energized and will gladly work with you to meet both their needs and yours. If so, especially with so many jobs going unfilled, take advantage of this unprecedented window of opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to be courageous. Believe in yourself. Now just might be the perfect time to try something new and different, something that dares you to venture outside your comfort zone.
A ‘can-do’ approach and a positive attitude
At Manpower, we’ve always proudly said that we hire for attitude and teach for needed skills. In other words, whatever the job description, you’re more likely to be hired if you exude a “can-do” approach and positive attitude.
No matter your age or experience level, make sure your enthusiasm and willingness to learn new skills comes across as genuine. Don’t try to fake sincerity.
As you contemplate your future, keep in mind one of my favorite mantras, that we all have a Career Coach, that one person who’s responsible for your career.
That Career Coach happens to be you, especially now.
Because only you know how many more years you’d like to keep working. Is it 40? 20? 10 or fewer?
For now, make sure you’re a valued asset to your employer, and that your promotion and salary aspirations, whatever they are, match the company’s grand plan for you.
After all, we spend over half of our waking lives working and we devote many more hours just thinking about work. My goal with every client that I coach is to guide them into a positive mindset and a fulfilling job where they wake up excited about going to work every day.
If that’s not you, maybe it’s time for a sit-down meeting with your Career Coach and make something better happen.
Blair is co-founder of Manpower Staffing and author of “Job Won.” email@example.com