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Home / job market

Don’t Fool Yourself

If the job market is hot, companies may be more flexible on their requirements.- Courtesy photo

By Angela Copeland

I can’t say this enough times. The job market is excellent! It’s the strongest job market we’ve seen in fifty years. Fifty years! Lately, there have been more open jobs than people looking for a job. The national unemployment rate has dropped below 3.8 percent. That’s pretty incredible.

With this said, I keep running into a phenomenon that’s boggling my mind. I just can’t get over it. I’m hearing from people every day who hate their jobs, but aren’t ready to find a new job. I’ll be honest. This very sounds counterintuitive to me. If something isn’t right, I can’t help but look for a solution.

But, these unhappy employees are busy. They have other commitments now. There are other priorities they need to attend to right now. They’re not satisfied at work, but they’ll look later. They’ll search when they have a little more time.

While I understand the logic behind this argument, I want to share another perspective. This is the thing. When we’re thinking of looking for a job, we think of ourselves. Our thought process is focused inward. We think, “I have the right education. I have the right experience. I’m qualified.” This makes sense. We believe we are either ready or are not ready for a particular job.

Rarely do we ever think about whether a job is ready for us. What I mean is this. So much of hiring is influenced by the job market and the current state of the economy. Even if you’re at the top of your game, if the economy isn’t great, you’re just out of luck. Companies don’t have the resources to hire you. They’ll force their existing workers to work a little harder. Ask anyone who has graduated from college during a tough economic time. They remember how hard it was to find a job, despite their new education.

Alternatively, if the job market is hot, companies may be more flexible on their requirements. This is especially true if there’s a shortage of people with your skills in your industry – right now. In other words, a company may be willing to hire you now, even if you don’t meet every requirement.

The most important words to note are “right now.” There is no guarantee the job market will continue to be strong. A recession is predicted in the next year or so. And, some people are already saying that the job market is slowing down.

What does this mean for you? If you’re someone who hates your job, now is the time to act. If you’re busy, it may be time to reprioritize. Or, to decide if you can live with your job for a few more years if the economy really does slow down.

Job searching is a lot like the children’s game musical chairs. If you want to find a new spot, you’ve got to get it before the music stops.

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

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