Happy New Year! Over the holidays, I spent some time thinking about the career trends that are most on my mind as we head into a fresh new year. Here are my thoughts, and I hope you’ll share yours in the comments.
1. The job market is not improving fast enough for most Americans. I have to agree with a recent New York Times op-ed by Bob Herbert, which pointed out that, while many data experts are painting a somewhat rosy picture of the economy in 2011, prospects for the 15 million+ unemployed Americans are still very grim.
Citing a Rutgers study, Herbert provides this chilling assessment: “The recession has been a cataclysm that will have an enduring effect. It is hard to overstate the dire shape of the unemployed.” I, for one, am committed to keeping this issue top-of-mind and working to find creative and effective solutions. As always, I will continue to share as many tips, tricks and tactics as I can to help more Americans get the jobs they want and need.
2. Fortunately, recent grad hiring is a bright spot. The good news if you’re looking for an entry-level position is that the job market is improving at a faster rate for recent grads than most other demographics. The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2011 survey has shown that the job market for the Class of 2011 is off to a good start.
According to the organization, “Employers responding to the NACE Job Outlook 2011 Fall Preview survey reported plans to hire 13.5 percent more new bachelor’s graduates from the Class of 2011 than they did from the Class of 2010. When asked to describe the overall job market for Class of 2011 bachelor’s degree graduates, the largest group—almost half of employers— characterized it as ‘good.’ In comparison, last year, the largest group saw the job market as just ‘fair.’”
This doesn’t mean it will be easy for the Class of 2011, but we are definitely heading in the right direction when it comes to entry-level hiring.
3. Job categories are being forever changed. In the op-ed I mentioned above, Herbert also cites another New York Times article, which highlighted the fact that many of the jobs being added to the U.S. economy are not full-time positions with salary and benefits. Instead, “temporary workers accounted for 80 percent of the 50,000 jobs added by private sector employers in November.” This is not a new trend. Temping, freelancing, “permalancing,” adult interning, “free agenting,” consulting and other forms of non-full-time, non-salaried positions have been on the rise for years and they will continue to grow in 2011.
While many people opt for this arrangement as a lifestyle choice, for many other people it is the only option they have. If you are a recent grad or any job seeker, you need to seriously consider launching or re-starting your career in one of these employment situations. Although they may not be ideal, for many professionals these gigs have turned into the only way to get a foot-in-the-door of the workforce.
What other trends will you be watching in 2011? Please share!