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If you thought December 31 closed the door to the Great Resignation of 2021, you should know that the job market doesn’t stick to the calendar – the quest for greener career pastures begins in the new year.
Think about it: Should you be looking to make a career change in 2022?
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2022 is shaping up to be a great year for your career change,” said Kristi Noel, author of Your Personal Career Coach. “Why? Thanks to major resignations and labor shortages, companies are now much more open and flexible with regard to open job requirements. They look at and value transferable skills now more than ever. This puts their career changers in a much stronger position than they have been in the past.” They can pursue careers in different industries and expanded roles, apply with confidence, and know that employers need help. If you show them how your experience relates to their needs, you will have more opportunities.”
Here’s what experts think about job hopping in 2022 in pursuit of higher salaries and a better life.
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Some things to know before you take the plunge
If you decide that 2022 is the year when you will finally change career gears, manage your expectations according to your salary and industry. According to the New York Times, the sudden reopening of the economy last year gave lower-paid workers more collective influence than ever before. The biggest resignation, according to the New York Times, was their rebellion.
Despite all that has been written about white-collar professionals reassessing their work-life balance, most of their turnover has been in lower-wage sectors, where competition for employment has been most intense. Low-wage workers were much more likely than a larger workforce to earn higher wages faster by leaving their jobs than they would have been by staying put. This dynamic has not worked the same way in industries with higher average salaries, and there is no indication that things have changed this year yet.
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You can chase higher pay in 2022 by letting one employer sign with another — or you can leave the concept of the employer entirely and go to work for the person who lives in your mirror.
“Freelance work has grown to new levels of success because of the freedom it allows,” said Chris Walker, CEO and founder of independent services website Legiit. “Freelance work as a career allows for creative expression and the opportunity to integrate your skill set into a fun career. If 2020 and 2021 are epiphanies, why not jump into the career you want? If it’s so difficult to leave a nine-to-five job, you can build your experience in Freelance work until the point where you feel comfortable enough to quit.”
One reason you might consider branching out on your own in 2022 rather than changing jobs is the huge variety of options that exist in today’s freelance job market — fields within fields within fields.
For example, on the Legiit platform alone, freelancers connect with those they will hire across 15 different subfields in the Graphics and Design category alone, including NFT art, QR codes, T-shirts, banner ads, and book covers. In total, there are 10 blanket categories—including writing, video, SEO, audio, and music—each of which may have ten or more active subfields.
Again, this is just one independent market. There is plenty of work for ambitious independent contractors in 2022.
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Success will not be distributed evenly across industries
The lower wage sectors fueled the major resignations. In the white-collar world, most jobs created in 2021 were concentrated in a few key areas. It looks like this theme will run until 2022, which means that your success in moving between jobs will largely depend on exactly where you land that leap.
“There will be a number of growth sectors,” said interview coach and director Chris Delaney, author of What Is Your Interview Identity? “We will see demand for data scientists whose role is to analyze, process and model data,” Delaney said. “Data scientists will be employed by global brands such as Meta and large companies such as supermarkets that use loyalty cards.”
It seems reasonable. Companies collected huge amounts of data in 2020 and 2021 as both commerce and business shift to the online space — and it stands to reason that those with the skills to manage and interpret it will be a hot commodity in 2022.
According to Delaney, digital marketing — which was already trending before the pandemic — is another area worth focusing on this year.
“Now more than ever, there will be a rapid rise in digital marketing vacancies, especially as we slowly move toward work, socialization, and interaction in the metaverse,” said Delaney.
Another big growth sector is artificial intelligence, which has now infiltrated almost every corner of the economy.
said Delaney, who cited a report claiming that two million new jobs will exit the AI industry in the near future.
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Just make sure you don’t run into the mirage
AI engineering, digital marketing, and data science aren’t the only areas in high demand, but they are all niche disciplines – and just because a data scientist can switch to a better location, doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results.
In this way, Great Resignation has a lot in common with Instagram — there’s a lot of airbrushing going on, and regular folks often find themselves chasing a utopia that doesn’t really exist.
“If you can’t think of any reason to quit your job away from FOMO, you better stay where you are,” said Chel Gacrama of personal development site Castnoble. “In this age of comparison, it’s all too easy to look at other people’s career journeys and think that ours should move just like theirs. But the career journey doesn’t always have to be toward greener pastures. Sometimes, we might get lucky the first time and get a job. It fits our needs perfectly. We’ve always been told to step out of our comfort zone in order to grow, but what if the zone is comfortable for some reason? If you think it is, definitely stay.”
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