Career Corner: The Best Job Market in a Generation

Fortunately, job seekers don’t have to work for bananas in this job market. – Courtesy photo / Phil Campbell (CC BY 2.0)

By Angela Copeland

I am so excited! This year – 2019 – is set to be a record year for job searching. If I could knock on the door of every reader to personally deliver this message, I would. This message deserves to be yelled from rooftops everywhere. If you have ever thought of looking for a new job, now is the time to do it. Right now. Not in six months. Not next year. Now.

Andrew Chamberlain, the chief economist from Glassdoor summed it up best when he shared that, “this is the best job market we have seen in an entire generation.” This is the time to negotiate for more money. It’s the time to ask for better benefits. And, it’s the time to wait to find a job that fits your life.

I could not agree more! We haven’t seen a job market like this since before I graduated from college. For years, the market has been dicey. But now, the unemployment rate is incredibly low, and there’s a shortage for skills in cities across the country.

When the market first turned in favor of the job seeker, it was hard to feel the benefits. Hiring managers were still being overly specific in job postings. They were still highly critical of candidates. But, it seems this trend is changing. Hiring managers have had unfilled job postings open for months. They’ve been burned by candidates who “ghost” them by not showing up to work on the first day. They’re starting to wake up to the reality that the job seeker is in the driver’s seat once again.

But, don’t delay. Don’t take this moment for granted. There is a reasonable chance that a recession could be around the next corner. Any economic slowdown will certainly change the dynamics of today’s great job market. Chamberlain predicts that the odds of a recession are 15 percent in 2019, and 35 percent in 2020.

And, this prediction makes sense. Big companies are already starting to feel the economic slowdown. For example, FedEx announced in December that they will offer an employee buyout program. Eligible employees will receive four weeks of pay for every year of service, up to two-years of pay. This move is expected to save the Memphis-based logistics company over $200 million in 2020.

If you’re as excited as I am, don’t wait. Start by revising your resume today. Then, update your LinkedIn profile and begin monitoring the site (and Indeed.com and Glassdoor) for the latest jobs – daily. Research your current market value. If you’ve been stuck in one company for years, you may be surprised to know that your value has gone up quite a bit since the last time that you looked. And, luckily, fewer companies are asking your current salary. Instead, they’re asking how much you want to make in the future.

Take advantage of the special moment in time, and create a new future for yourself.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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