The news is filled with grim statistics on job growth these days. It’s true that companies have not been creating many new jobs, and that makes it harder for jobseekers who are trying to decide where to find opportunities. It’s not surprising that jobs are coming back slowly after this brutal recession. Employers are reluctant to hire again with regulatory uncertainty looming; changes to healthcare requirements and other federal programs make it hard to predict costs in the future. In addition, companies that discovered efficiencies in their workforce (finding that the job gets done with three workers instead of the previous four) are loath to give up that productivity when things improve.
But just because there are no new jobs does not mean that there’s no hiring going on. As the economy starts to improve, workers are going to leave their current jobs for what they consider better jobs. According to a recent workplace survey for Adecco, conducted by Harris Interactive, the majority of U.S. workers are unhappy with their current job situation:
- 66 percent are dissatisfied with their compensation.
- 76 percent are dissatisfied with their opportunities for career growth.
- 78 percent are dissatisfied with the retention efforts made on behalf of their employers.
These results mean that people are looking for other opportunities. Many workers took jobs that didn’t pay what they wanted or were in industries they don’t care about simply to get through this economic downturn. They will be ready to make a move as soon as one presents itself. That means that you should be ready, too.
Step up your networking – focus on asking people if they know someone who’s gotten a job recently. (I’ll bet there are more of them than you’d think.) Step up your efforts to follow companies and people on LinkedIn and other social networking sites – keep track of changes in employment status.
Turnover presents different challenges in your job search – the jobs don’t always hit the street in public postings. These jobs are the classic “hidden job market.” People start to talk about openings before they’re advertised; insiders or friends of friends will know there’s going to be an opening before the job gets posted. Keep your ears open for leads about turnover in any company – you never know where the next lead will come from, or where someone you know – or have worked with in the past – will land.