Jobseekers continue to evaluate their jobs with some jumping on the Great Resignation bandwagon in a bid to discover engagement and purpose. This article shares some ideas around how those looking for a mid-career change can use this situation to their advantage.
What is the Great Resignation? Coined by Texas A&M University Professor Anthony Klotz, he defined it to describe the current trend of employees choosing to leave their jobs voluntarily. These resignation decisions were likely delayed by the pandemic but seems to be spontaneously occurring across the world.
In Singapore, more employees have been taking sabbatical leave to recharge, and if the option was not available, opt to resign to take a break. The resignations are taking place despite total employment growing, and employers indicating that they are looking to increase headcount in 2021.
A Microsoft Work Trend Index shared that 49 percent of Singapore workers are considering leaving their employer this year due to fatigue, lack of inspiration, and a widening gap between leadership and employees.
Are there really jobs available?
According to MOM in the Labour Market Report First Quarter 2021, the “…resident employment increases were broad-based across industries, led by information and communications, food and beverage services, health and social services, administrative and support services, public administration and education, as well as professional services.”
In the following quarter, MOM reported there were 92,100 job openings. This is nearly 50 percent more than the 68,400 job openings in Q1. This means there are 163 job vacancies for every 100 unemployed persons. There are vacancies within the financial & insurance Services, information & communications as well as professional services sectors.
Michael Page, a recruitment specialist shared their observation that the number of jobs in Q3 2021 is 21 percent higher than Q3 2020. Their job opportunity data indicate job opportunities across key sectors such as engineering & manufacturing (up 48 percent vs. 2020), digital (up 27 percent vs. 2020) and technology (up 17 percent vs. 2020).
What does a jobseeker looking to do a mid-career change make of this situation?
For the opportunistic jobseeker, it is important to be pragmatic and draw from the well of resilience and adaptability the pandemic has forced upon us.
Spend some time deciding whether to switch jobs during this period of time. If the answer is yes, approach this job search as a project and set up a plan that includes the following:
Get updated about the target industry and skill sets required: Making a mid-career change requires understanding the position of the industry relative to its ecosystem, and how potential roles being looked at fits within the organisation. There should be an awareness about the skills needed to succeed now and over the next 5 years. This might mean researching systems used in the target industry, application of skill sets and how these can benefit organisations the jobseeker is interested in.
Networking and relationship building: Get to know peers and members of the target industry being considered. Use the upcoming festive period to connect with people, build relationships and gather useful information about the industry, organisations, subject matter specialists and connectors.
Upskilling with relevant webinars, workshops and online courses: Research might indicate that specific knowledge or skill sets are required to succeed in the target industry or organisation. Use the traditionally slower end of year period or when clearing annual leave to upgrade and refresh these competencies through relevant webinars, workshops and online courses. The MySkillsFuture Portal is a good resource to consider.
Updating their job communications portfolio: The jobseeker should get their career communications portfolio updated. This means preparing the following items such as a detailed resume and cover letter, securing credible and strong references as well as updating their Linkedin profile.
Search for the right organisation and job opportunities to send their application: There should be an ideal organisation and role the jobseeker hopes to secure. To do so, they should be familiar with the various job portals available such as MyCareersFuture Singapore, and other commercial portals such as JobsCentral. Once they send in their application, the jobseeker can start to prepare a script to practice for an interview or presentation. This will help to reduce any anxiety associated with the job search, and also build confidence and momentum as the process gets underway.
All plans (similar to those at work) require a timeline and a way to track and measure progress. Remember to celebrate small wins as each stage of the plan is cleared.
The best part about being opportunistic: even if there is no career change made, the jobseeker would have discovered more about their motivations, built more positive relationships within their network and have a process to activate if and when the next right moment comes along.