There’s certainly a big difference between the 2020 and the 2021 job market. The current market is the busiest we have seen it in years, and it’s moving very fast. That is why you need to be clear on why you are seeking a change, and what that looks like for you. You need to be ready to receive potential offers and move on from your current job as soon as you start applying for new roles.
It can be difficult to make a career change decision when you are unsure what the right path to take is. All you know is that you may feel underappreciated where you currently are, maybe it’s not paying what you’d like, maybe there’s workplace politics involved or dissatisfaction with your direct manager? There can be many variables why you feel the need to move on – and fair enough.
Before you do anything though, it’s important to clarify your thoughts and note down why you are considering a change. Once you have, consider whether or not your employer can address them satisfactorily. If you feel they can, speak to them about it. In the current job market, most employers are far more willing to listen and resolve issues for their employees. Many employers are also making counter-offers, and if you’re willing to consider a counter-offer, then chances are you’re not ready to leave. Figuring all this out before you apply for another job can save a lot of time on all fronts. And importantly, if you feel you might stay, prevent you from potentially damaging your relationship with your employer by not speaking to them first.
So, if you have worked your way through the above and have decided you’d still like to move on, the next question is, how do you go about researching companies? Many people will review company websites or tap into what their mates are saying. However, these avenues can prove problematic, as they don’t give you the whole picture, especially in today’s very busy job market. Before we go into why, let’s take a step back as you may also be wondering, “what is actually happening in the current job market”?
The What – What’s happening in today’s job market?
There’s certainly a big difference between the 2020 and the 2021 job market. The current market is the busiest we have seen it in years, and it’s moving very fast. Things are moving so fast that some employers aren’t bothering with references, some are offering jobs on the spot, and others are after only one interview.
Currently, most employers are not resource planning, they’re reacting. Many builders today are waiting for the project win before they get staff due to financial constraints and margins that have been consistently low since the GFC. Now more than ever, a builder won’t hire someone until they physically have the project, so 90% of the time, they are looking to fill that job immediately. They are not tyre kicking; they are ready to hire right now.
That is why you need to be clear on why you are seeking a change, and what that looks like for you. You need to be ready to receive potential offers and move on from your current job as soon as you start applying for new roles.
The Why – Why are usual approaches proving problematic?
Let’s go back to where and how to gain your information about employers to make the most informed decision you can. Reviewing websites or speaking to your mates is a start, but they don’t provide you with all the information you need for something as important as your next career move.
Firstly, websites are static, one-way avenues. Most companies promise a lot on their websites but may not deliver, and others have more to offer, but their websites aren’t great and don’t cover all their benefits. You’ll find that there are very few builders in the last six months who’ve updated their website. How then do you really know what the companies are about?
Secondly, let’s ask our mates. That’s the best choice – right? We don’t believe so. Firstly, much of the feedback your mates give you comes from second and third-hand experiences rather than their own and industry talk about a company. That is not a great place to start for such an important decision. You need your mate to have at least worked for the employer you are considering. Then you need to consider that everyone has their own experiences and reasons for where they work, how they work, and the roles they do. There is no ‘one-size fits all’. Your mate’s and manager’s personalities may not gel, but it’s not to say that you wouldn’t find it an ideal environment. The role on offer may not even be working for that manager at all – most of the time, teams don’t overlap, and you shouldn’t tar the whole company with the same brush. And visa versa, your mate may think that where they worked or currently are has a great workplace culture, however, it may not suit you at all and your specific needs. Add to the mix that so much has changed within the Covid timeframe that the stories you’ve heard may no longer be relevant. How long ago did your mate work there? Have managers moved on since? LinkedIn is a good place to double-check as a start.
Look, we’re not saying to not look at a website at all – definitely do. And we’re certainly not saying to ignore your mates either. However, we are saying that more work is to be done – especially in today’s market, where businesses are picking up as we venture out of the pandemic haze. Which invariably leads us to ‘the how’.
The How – How do I operate in this market?
I know we are all time poor, however, relying on one or two pieces of information to make this type of decision is setting yourself up to miss out on some great opportunities potentially. The best thing to do is to make decisions for yourself. Take the fear out of everything and be honest with yourself and what you need. Then realise that there are always opportunities.
Places to get information for the whole picture/more complete picture of a company:
- Review websites
- Speak to mates
- Speak to consultants and subbies you know who have worked for them
- Most importantly, apply for the job so you can meet them
The industry has changed a lot during Covid, and some companies are offering more than they’ve ever offered before. It is a busy market that is candidate short, and employers have realised that the market is now more competitive than ever. As a result, they’re moving the boundaries quicker in terms of salary (see our Salary Report HERE) and workplace flexibility to stay attractive to candidates. And the only way to know where those new boundaries are and what a company is really like is to meet them. You can always say no afterwards if they don’t hit the mark.
Now more than ever, the market is moving quickly. Quite often, when people stick their hand up for a position and get an offer a few days later, they find that they are not mentally ready to give notice and everything else that goes into that decision.
To help prep, be clear about your initial reasons for moving and what your initial goals are. Then, ask yourself this – what do I want, have I considered all angles, are there other opportunities where I already am, am I setting realistic expectations, have I kept an open mind, and how can I arm myself?
Keep websites and mate’s feedback in mind. However, we believe it is still important to apply to a role because one of the major pieces of information you’ll need to help make an informed decision is hearing what the company has to say about what they’re currently doing and what they have to offer now.
At the end of the day, you want to land in a company where you will have the greatest chance of success and achieving the goals you identified right at the beginning of the process.
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