Enjoying free time, getting reacquainted with your teenagers, or spending more time in the mountains and beaches – what’s not to love about a lazy summer, especially if you left your job last spring?
However, with the certainty of summer’s end comes the realization that your career waits for no one. So do not let summer bills pile up or opportunity pass you by! Time to get motivated and prepare yourself to get back to work!
Is the job market still hot?
Most likely, the economy hasn’t been top-of-mind these last three months, but if you are wondering if any jobs are available, you are in luck! Though down from a high of 10 million openings last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 8.8 million unfilled positions in August. However, quits are also down while job availability is trending downwards (from 9.48 million in June), so there is some urgency to begin your search right now!
Your career choice matters!
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2021 and 2031, total employment is projected to grow by 8.3 million jobs. But growth is not happening in all fields! For instance, healthcare and social assistance are expected to make up nearly one-third of new jobs. Other fast-growing occupations will be nurse practitioners (45.7%), green technology technicians (44.3%), and data scientists (35.8%).
If you are a math whiz, you are really in luck. In addition to data scientists, information security analysts (34.7%), statisticians (32.7%), and other computer and mathematical occupations are increasingly in demand. The BLS expects 136,400 job openings annually for accountants and auditors. So, if you are an accountant or CPA, you could be in the driver’s seat when negotiating a reentry package!
As you plan your reentry, prepare to upgrade your skills, especially if you aren’t seeing a lot of ‘help wanted’ ads in your field. Study the US Bureau of Labor Statistics chart, Appendix A2, for a list of declining occupations, including administrative jobs like word processors, data entry, and admin assistants. Now could be the best time to begin your transition to a career for the future. For instance, if you are a legal secretary, consider taking some paralegal college courses to take advantage of the 14.1% expected growth in this area.
Keep in mind hiring managers still prefer a professional, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. If you have some college credits, consider a degree completion program or night classes, as the reward is typically higher pay and lower unemployment. To keep borrowing down, check your local community college or state university for lower-cost programs to attend while working during the day.
Plan for back-to-work
Whether you are a new or experienced job seeker, use the time you have left this summer to draft a game plan.
If you’ve got kids starting back at school, you’ll already be thinking about their routine. So also set goals for yourself. As the saying goes, “Your job search is your job,” so you’ll want to be specific about tasks and a deadline to be employed. Here are ideas to get you started:
Check your mindset. From leisure to labor is a significant pivot! For example, you may have had an unstructured summer, more time to exercise, walk your dog, or enjoy surfing the net or playing video games. As a result, the discipline of work can seem challenging, especially in home office jobs where familiar habits can easily creep in.
Alternatively, office jobs have their own challenges. Crazy traffic, interacting with tall humans who actually talk back, and deadlines can be overwhelming in a different way. Therefore, change your routine several weeks before starting your new job search, and by focusing on your goals and priorities, you will develop the positive mindset necessary for success.
Review your career goals. Is your job currently on the list of declining occupations? Would it pay to update your skills? What are the current wages and benefits for your position? What opportunities do you see to boost your career and bring greater fulfillment and job satisfaction? While researching these questions, why not update your resume and LinkedIn profile simultaneously?
Stay positive. If you do not feel the love for returning to work, know that the workplace has evolved over the past several years. For example, besides higher wages (up 4.6% over the past 12 months ending in June), trends in benefits include: remote work and flexible scheduling, mental health and well-being programs, increased professional development and learning opportunities, financial and health and wellness initiatives, and even pet and family-friendly policies! The landscape of workplace benefits, as are the career development opportunities, is ever evolving. Of course, meaningful work, a sense of purpose, and connection with colleagues are a plus, too, so stay positive while you explore offerings!
Set realistic expectations. Finally, know that it is okay to be nervous about transitioning back to work, especially if it has been several years. The longer you’ve been out of the workplace, the longer your job search can take. It can be frustrating not to receive offers at once, especially if you rely only on online job applications. Expand your search by reconnecting with old colleagues and asking for informational interviews to learn about updates to your field. Meet with professionals by attending industry events, job fairs, and networking events.
At the same time, brush up on your interview skills, research common interview questions, and prepare thoughtful answers highlighting your strengths and experiences. Revise your cover letter and edit your online presence, including your LinkedIn profiles, to highlight your skills and experiences more effectively. Stay persistent, focused, and positive, and do not get discouraged by rejections; treat each rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Let the experts help you
And finally, here is a secret that top executives who occasionally take a break from their careers know:
If your job search is not yielding results, seek help from an expert recruiter like those at Partnership Employment. They will connect you with a partner with years of recruiting experience. In addition, Partnership Employment’s established and long-time relationships with top employers in your area will ensure that talented individuals like you will not have long to wait for offers.
A job search is competitive, and it may take time to find the right fit. Be open to adjusting your approach and continuously improving your skills while at the same time using the expertise of your recruiter to increase your chances of receiving job offers.
And if you’ve been out of the workplace for a while? No problem. Your recruiter knows that temporary or contract positions are a terrific stepping stone to a full-time role. They also provide valuable experience and networking opportunities. Best of all, this option allows both you and the organization to “try before you buy.”
So, call Partnership Employment today, and don’t go it alone. Remember, it’s okay to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness about returning to work. With a positive mindset and a well-structured approach, you can successfully transition back to work and hit the ground running!