Evidence is mounting that American workers may be getting restless – and getting their resumes ready in preparation for quitting their job.
With opportunities opening up in an economy recovering from the pandemic, a significant percentage of employees are expressing an interest in changing jobs and taking their careers in a new direction as the world continues to recover from the pandemic.
About one-fourth of workers say they plan to look for a new job once the pandemic is over, according to Prudential’s latest Pulse of the American Worker Survey. The survey further reports that half of workers say the pandemic gave them more control in deciding the direction of their career, and 48% are rethinking the type of job they want altogether.
“There’s nothing wrong with seeking a new job that uses more of your best skills, gets you closer to finding your niche, and perhaps pays more,” says Bob Slater, co-author with his son, Nick Slater, of Look Out Above! The Young Professional’s Guide to Success (www.bobandnickslater.com).
For anyone contemplating a change, the Slaters offer a few words of advice:
If possible, choose an in-office job over a remote one. Many people became enamored with remote work during the pandemic, but the Slaters remain skeptical that remote is the best option for career advancement. If your new job gives you the option, they say, go to the office. “Relationships formed and nurtured from face-to-face interaction are key to your development as a productive contributor to the workplace,” Nick Slater says. “This personal contact is doubly important for new hires who need to learn the culture of the organization they have landed with. It’s hard to build these relationships when working from an apartment or Starbucks. Zoom meetings and introductions are hardly an adequate substitute for personal contact.”
Show your body of work. Your work history should be more than a list of places worked and job titles. “Show what you accomplished at each stop along the way,” Bob Slater says. “How did you add value? Can you fairly dollarize your contributions? But don’t exaggerate your performance. Making unrealistic claims is a quick way to destroy trust and cast doubt on the accuracy of your resume. Such exaggeration may also create doubt about what you say if you’re interviewed.”
Beware your social media footprint. In these days of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts, your self-advocacy extends to the internet. By this point, a warning about being careful with social media posts would seem unnecessary, yet people still miss out on new opportunities or lose their jobs because of inappropriate content on their social media sites, Nick Slater says. “If you’re not sure whether certain material is inappropriate, you have your answer,” he says. “Don’t post it.”
Define what success looks like in your job search. As you meditate on the next move, decide what your definition of success is, at least for now, Bob Slater says. “Your vision could be as simple as making a certain amount of money or using specific skills that you enjoy using and want to develop further,” he says. “It could be to work a set number of hours or to work outdoors. Maybe you want to live near family and friends, or in a certain city with a stimulating culture and nightlife. Your vision of a successful work life will involve multiple items, and their combination will be uniquely yours.”
Finally, the Slaters say, approach the job search with confidence.
“When you catch yourself imagining failure, flip your mental switch to imagine success,” Nick Slater says. “Take inventory of your strengths and the good things in your life. Recall and build on past moments when you succeeded, and on what others say they like and admire about you. Then act.”