It feels like almost overnight the job market started heating up. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, the U.S. Department of Labor and Federal Reserve Bank chair Jay Powell all have pointed toward a strong “Goldilocks economy” and “jobs boom.” It now looks like workers will be in the driver’s seat.
Once you cast off all of the negative sentiment that we’ve been going through, this makes rational sense. Millions of Americans have received vaccinations. The federal government flooded the economy with trillions of dollars to stimulate businesses. President Joe Biden plans to spend trillions more on an historic infrastructure and green energy program that he believes will create millions of new jobs. Many cities and states have either loosened restrictions or opened up. Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for New York to open by July 1, which was unimaginable six months ago.
Online job postings have hit new highs with over 7 million listings. Restaurants can’t find enough help. Big banks have offered Peloton bikes, raises and bonuses to retain and keep young bankers happy. Leading companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, called for people to return to the office.
For the better part of the last year, many people were sheltering in their jobs, biding time until the Covid-19 situation changed. Now, they’re coming out of hibernation. We will start to see people looking to switch jobs and companies seeking to hire people to keep up with demand.
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The current corporate trend is for a flexible hybrid work arrangement. This would include people coming into the office two or three days a week. There will be a group who will only want to exclusively work remotely and some just desire to get out of their homes and go to the office everyday.
This is a perfect time for workers to start asserting themselves. If you want to stay working remotely, you now have some leverage. Studies show that a large percentage of people would quit and look for a new job if they won’t be allowed to continue to work remotely.
They have valid reasons, including fear of catching Covid-19 and spreading it to their family, maintaining the work-life balance that they have enjoyed for the last year, not having to worry so much about child care, the absence of a dreaded, long, monotonous commute, not having to deal with all of the irritating, time-wasting office politics and games and saving money by not having to purchase corporate attire and eating out or ordering in for two meals a day.
For those who want to work exclusively in the office or several days a week, you will have a lot more opportunities open to you. Take this time to update your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Get active on LinkedIn, as it’s the go-to social media site for professionals to network, find recruiters, career coaches, résumé writers and seek out job opportunities.
It may not be a straight line forward. We look to the heartbreaking resurgence in India and realize there’s an outside chance that we could see a new strain of the virus develop. Corporate executives, after engaging in massive downsizing and hiring freezes, may not immediately recognize that the landscape has changed. They could still view the market as it was and make low-ball salary offers or have ridiculous demands for applicants to be hired.
Too often, so-called experts make 100% proclamations with absolute certainty. In the real world, it doesn’t work this way—it’s more of a probability. It’s not a guarantee that everyone who wants a new job will find one right away. However, the odds are tilting away from the power of the corporations to the workers. If states keep opening up, injections going into arms and the trillions put into the economy get things revved up, the chances greatly improve that you can find a new job, negotiate for higher pay and demand and receive the right to work remotely.