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 Taking a Sneak Peek Into the Job Search Future

By Joe Stein

It seems people not only have an opinion on everything, but very often a prediction also.  Whether it is sports, the stock market, politics, or even the weather, it seems to be human nature to try to determine what will happen.

I don’t see any reason why the job search world should be left out of the “fun” of this prediction business. Now, while I don’t have a crystal ball, or an Ouija board, I do have almost twenty-five years of experience, so I think my guess is as good as any regarding what the future holds.  Let’s then take a sneak peek at the trends we will see (or continue to see) this year and the rest of the decade.

• Communication Skills Will Be Highly Valued – Unfortunately, in today’s world of modern technology, the ability to communicate both orally and in writing has significantly eroded.  Now, over time this may become less of a priority if everyone has poor skills in this area and the standard is lowered accordingly. Until this happens, however, if you can speak clearly and concisely, you will positively stand out.  Likewise, if you can write in a grammatically sound way and without error, it should also prove to be a differentiator for your job candidacy.

• Strong Leaders Will Be In Demand – As baby boomers retire from their leadership positions in waves, this should open many more Manager-level positions than usually occurs.  If you have a documented background of success in leading teams, you may find yourself in high demand, especially from employers scrambling to deal with an aging workforce.

• Current High Demand Industries Should Continue – Unless a likely surge in manufacturing occurs or some new industry that is not on anyone’s radar screen emerges, it would seem likely that the current high demand areas will remain that way.  This means industries such as Healthcare, Social Services, and Customer Service (including Retail and Hospitality) should remain at the forefront (and consume a number of pages each week in WNYJOBS).

• A Balance Will Be Reached On “Job Hopping” – This is one topic that will usually find people on opposite ends of the spectrum.  The more traditional Manager (Baby Boomer and Generation X) will value loyalty and stability, while newer generations will be more inclined to accept shorter stays, as employees try out positions or make brief stays as they quickly climb the career ladder. As the Baby Boomers retire and most Managers are in the Generation X and Y eras, a happy medium should be drawn where tenure is still valued, but movement for career advancement and opportunity is accepted (and even viewed as a positive).

• Job Search Methods Will Continue to Evolve – Online advertising (such as WNYJOBS.com) will replace traditional print (daily newspaper) as the standard method of job advertising (if it has not already).  Localized advertising will be the focus rather than on large national tools where positions can prove hard to find. Networking will continue to be an important piece of sourcing leads.  An even greater emphasis will be placed by employers on “passive” candidates and persuading those already successfully employed into leaving.  If you fit this category, with WNYJOBS.com you can choose “Employed…But Open to Opportunities” to create a confidential profile.

• Focus on Accomplishments – Hiring decisions will continue to be less about what you do, and more about what you achieved.  This means your Resume should not be a list of tasks you do, but rather the focus should be on achievements, awards, and savings obtained.  In an interview, be prepared to provide examples of what you have accomplished as you “sell” why you should be the one hired.

• Team Skills Critical – So much work is now done collaboratively, and this is not going to be changing.  It is critical that you are able to work well with others and demonstrate to a Hiring Manager that you have done just that.  This is an area where your References can prove critical as it is one thing to say you’re a “team player”, but another if you have others saying the same thing on your behalf.

The future can be scary, but it does not have to be that way.  Based on my predictions above, the rest of the decade will most likely just be the continued evolution of what is already occurring.  By understanding current and future trends and adapting as necessary, you can provide yourself with the needed competitive advantage.