The new year will call for you to focus on job security, finding companies that can provide assurances that they are not planning layoffs, and compensation that can keep up with inflation. You may want to go into the office up to five days a week to ensure that management notices you, as you’ll benefit from the proximity bias.
The beginning of 2023 will be challenging for workers. Job hunters will need to play defense. With predictions of continued layoffs, hiring freezes and an upcoming recession, the job market outlook won’t be as robust as it was in the recent past.
Just because a page is flipped on the calendar doesn’t mean that runaway inflation and high-interest rates, driving up the costs of everything, will suddenly abate. The economy is likely to get worse before it gets better.
How Things Have Changed
When the job market is blazing, it’s easy to coast, browse the internet, run errands and conduct non-related business activities throughout the day without any fear of reprisals from the boss. Leadership recognized how hard it was to find, source, recruit, onboard, hire, train and retain staff. It was convenient for them to look the other way, since they didn’t want to deal with the arduous, time-consuming and costly task of finding a replacement if a person decided to switch jobs.
For the last few years, job seekers and employees have been on offense. In a hot job market, they were emboldened to demand remote work, stock grants, flexible schedules and lush perks, such as free food and laundry services.
Leadership Had To Kowtow To Their Employees
Business leaders had to acquiesce to their requirements. Management understood that if they didn’t make their employees happy, the staff would join the Great Resignation. Seeing other companies offer their employees over-the-top benefits, pay and stock rewards becomes a contagion effect.
Other firms will emulate their rivals and amp up their own offerings. If the employees don’t gain the personal attention and goodies, they’ll become disengaged and start acting their wage and quiet quitting.
Feeling unloved and unappreciated, they slide into becoming a slacker and cyberloafer. This attitude, when multiplied by a large number of other workers, is problematic, as it results in less productivity and deteriorating relationships with customers and vendors.
A Smart And Safe Job Strategy
Now may not be the right time to go after jobs in “sexy” sectors and “hot,” fast-growing companies that are heralded as the next big thing that will change the world.
This may sound dull, but seek opportunities with safe, boring companies that have withstood the test of time and consistently churn out strong revenue growth and profits. Companies that can provide safety, job security, assurances of no layoffs and a career path within the organization are what you want.
Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha and one of the richest Americans, says he loves investing in companies with a moat around them. This means the business has a competitive advantage that stands out and enables it to have pricing power and better-than-average profit margins. Having a strong balance sheet, profitability and a unique business model that is hard to replicate, making it nearly immune from competitors, is the new “hot thing.”
What Could Go Wrong When You Chase The Latest Trend
You may feel the societal pressure to join a cool tech company to impress your friends and family. There was the belief that you could earn a small fortune and retire early on your equity awards in company stock. Having a highly lauded tech firm on your LinkedIn profile was seen as a quick way to gain entry to even bigger and better opportunities
However, recent events show that there’s a catch. Many highly coveted, fast-growing and headline-catching companies turned out to be a trap. These glamorous companies crumbled when the economy, stock market and job market softened.
The tech darlings of 2021 and 2022 that both investors and job seekers flocked to were sorely disappointing. Tesla plunged more than 60%, social media platform dropped by around 64.41%, Apple was down 25.49% and the once-invincible online juggernaut Amazon cratered by 51%. Smaller tech companies like Peloton saw their stock prices annihilated, along with large layoffs.
How To Protect Yourself
Make sure you thoroughly research a firm you are interested in joining. Similarly, look into the finances and stability of the firm you’re currently with.
When on the job hunt, seek out people you know at your target companies. Politely inquire about their experience working at the organization. You want to find out the truth about what it’s like to work there.
Search the LinkedIn profiles of people at the company you are interested in to see if there is a pattern of folks leaving without hiring new personnel.
You’ll need to ask tough, direct questions during the hiring process. This is not a time to accept the usual corporate spiel, as the risks are too significant. In the recent past, if you lost your job or wanted to leave, it was relatively easy—now, not so much.
Try to get a feel for the people in video interviews or in-person conversations. You want to see if they are happy and engaged or miserably going through the motions. Discuss the offer letter with the human resources person, and don’t take anything for granted. You want to know if there are any guarantees for keeping your job for a certain length of time, whether there is a severance package that can get you through the in-between-jobs stage without worrying about finances and if you will have insurance coverage.
Source: Jack Kelly via Forbes.com