- The great: the job market’s hot as the country emerges from the pandemic.
- The not-so-good: the competition to snag jobs is fierce.
- The really bad: some 2020 grads who put off a major job search last year or continued to hit the books while waiting out the economic shutdown are just now diving into a serious job search.
But the best news of all is that it’s 2021 and not 2020. Help wanted ads that returned to pre-pandemic levels in January have continued to tick upward and are now greater than before the lockdown.
Graduates, as you enter this new chapter of your life, a can-do attitude will take you far. However, while acknowledging the realities of this moment in time is wise, allowing the not-so-good and really bad job front news to defeat your job search before it begins is foolish.
So, strap in for what may be a bumpy ride and put these strategies to use ASAP.
- Trade panic for a pro-active stance
Squash the panic that threatens to wash over you with facts. There are job openings. Companies are still hiring. Someone is always looking for fresh talent. Don’t hang back waiting, hoping things will get better. Remind yourself how far the job market has come since last March. Forge ahead with a focus on the positive impact you can make in this world.
- Be flexible
If the career you’ve prepared for your entire life—at least that’s how it feels in these post-graduation moments—happens to not be flush with job openings right now, don’t sweat it. Or label yourself a failure because your best-laid plans are not coming to fruition. So, your dream career gets placed on hold while you pursue something else. It’s not the end of the world. Instead of moaning over what could have/ should have been, assess your skill set, strengths, and interests along with a review of your long and short-term goals. Then, turn your focus, temporarily, in a different direction. A flexible mindset can transform this challenging time into valuable experience that you might have missed out on were it not for this topsy-turvy 2021 job market.
- Expand your network
The famous phrase “It’s not what you know but who you know” definitely carries some weight in today’s job market. Of course, what you know matters—your skills, training, education—it’s all-important. But who you know will also play an impactful role, especially in today’s competitive employment climate. Club or organization associates, past employers/managers/supervisors, former co-workers, education professionals, and the list goes on. All of these connections comprise a network of folks who know you, have firsthand knowledge of your strengths, the kind of person you are, and the passion and dedication that drive you. Reach out and reconnect, sharing news of your graduation and job search. Then, seek to expand your network by joining professional groups, participating in forums, by “hanging out” where you’ll bump into influential people.
Who always has their ears and eyes trained toward fresh, new talent? The staffing specialists at A.R. Mazzotta. Our team represents some of the most experienced job recruiters in Connecticut, employing and placing approximately 1,000 candidates each year. So if you’re a job seeker ready to start a new career, we’re here to take you in the right direction.