Be Aware and Flexible, but Stay The Course! 

For any of you who are in a job transition or have been in a job transition, you know the job market is a very fluid phenomenon. Whether it’s specific to you individually (the job you’ve applied for that you think you’re the PERFECT fit for doesn’t come through), or there’s a broad application (unemployment is low, so why do I seem to be having difficulty finding a job?), the American economy is an ever-evolving force. Paying attention to what is happening as you go through your exploration journey for a new job or career is very important. 

The Shifting Job Market

In a recent article put out by Workplace Intelligence entitled, “From the Big Quit to the Big Stay: How to Maximize the Evolving Labor Market,” author Dan Schwabel discussed some interesting information to illustrate several macro-outcomes that inevitably have some effect on a job seeker’s journey. Here are a few: 

  • Over 50 million people voluntarily left their jobs in 2022, beating out the nearly 48 million who left in 2021 
  • In June, the number and rate of quits decreased to 3.8 million and 2.4%, respectively.  These numbers are now virtually identical to pre-pandemic rates 
  • The labor force participation rate for workers aged 25 to 54 fell to less than 80% in April 2020, during the height of the pandemic. As of June, 2023, the rate had risen to 83.5% 
  • Job openings, a measure of labor demand, dropped to around 9.6 million as of June 30, the lowest level since April 2021. 
  • Pay increases workers gained from switching jobs peaked in June 2022 at over 16%. As of April, the number was down to 13.2% and had declined from 14% in just one month – the lowest pace of growth since November 2021. 
  • Meanwhile, a June Gallup poll found that an alarming 59% of workers are “quiet quitting” (disengaged and underperforming), with another 18% “loud quitting” (actively disengaged). 

These macro data points usually have subtle influences on people in job transition, and you can see by the data that the shifts in some of the statistics have taken place over relatively short periods of time. Bottom line, the job market is a fluid scene, and a job seeker should be aware and flexible in the search given the shifts, particularly in expectations. For example, given the current data, odds have dropped for a person to leave their role for a significant increase in pay. Not that it couldn’t happen, but the market seems to have cooled down a bit.   

One of the many challenges I’ve seen in years of supporting people through job transition is for them to either be unaware of the shifting economy or to be overwhelmed by it. As with many of life’s challenges, the key is to stay the course with some sound fundamentals. 

Avoid Blisters, Properly Prepare

John Wooden, the famous UCLA basketball coach whose teams won ten NCAA championships in a 12-year period, used to spend practice time ensuring his players knew how to put their socks and shoes on properly to avoid blisters. He focused on some basics because he didn’t ever want those areas left to chance. 

Here are a few job transition fundamentals to stay grounded and help you stay the course: 

  1. Keep a strong spiritual foundation – – Don’t skip or skimp on time in the Bible and prayer. Keep truth flowing into you to stay armed against the Enemy. 
  1. Stay in community – – “Never go it alone” is my encouragement to all job seekers. Getting isolated not only harms #1 above, but it also allows a person’s confidence level to plummet. Action: Join an online group with Crossroads Career (Click HERE) or talk to one of our Crossroads Guides (Click HERE
  1. Network, network, network! – – Statistically proven again and again, networking is the path to most job placements. Yet I consistently see people applying for jobs and expecting great results. Network as if your job depends on it…because it does! (Blog post HERE) 
  1. Practice, practice, practice! – – Interviewing is usually not a natural strength for most people. Keep lining up mock interviews because your competition isn’t. Remember, to have the “right words” flow out of your mouth, odds are very high that you need to practice them! Crossroads Guides can assist you with this (Click HERE). 
  1. Know who you are and what you do best – – This is an area for most of us which hasn’t received too much attention. We get a job and just start running on the treadmill of life. Taking a brief pause and being able to articulate these two areas are significant for you to find fulfilling work. 

Last, know that while the job market is ever-evolving, our God never changes. Malachi 3:6 states, “I, the Lord do not change….” and James 1:17 reinforces, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” And finally, Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God doesn’t change. He is faithful, and we can always trust and rely on Him.   

Rest and receive His promises. Take action with the gifts He has given you. Be aware and flexible, and stay the course! Blessings! 

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