The pandemic, with all its challenges to each of us on a personal level, has definitely been a time for personal reflection.
Working intensely from within the walls of your own home, or not being able to do that, has made people really consider the nitty-gritty of their work: do they like it, how important are their colleagues to them, how much do they feel valued, and what career progression is tangible.
As such, if you are considering a career change on the back of the pandemic, you are not alone. Furthermore, if you’re one of the many that wishes they could change career, but doesn’t feel confident enough to do so, you’re also not alone. While employers are confident in their hiring decisions, candidates are definitely not feeling as equally confident yet.
However, with the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics showing the strength of the rebound in the UK’s labour market, despite the furlough scheme ending, candidates may need to realise that now is the time to make their move. Indeed, the latest figures show that the number of payrolled workers between September and October was 29.3 million, “well above” pre-pandemic levels. Unemployment has fallen further to 4.3% and Chancellor Rishi Sunak is hailing it as “testament to the extraordinary success of the furlough scheme”.
There may still be some fallout from the furlough scheme ending just yet, but certainly, right now, what we’re seeing is a fantastic opportunity for those to change careers that want to.
Why should you change career now?
We’ve got a unique set of circumstances. It’s very normal for hiring to swing back and forth in favour of the employer and the candidate at different times, usually closely linked to the wider economy. Now is no different from that, in so far as we’re currently in a swing towards candidates.
However, right now, that balance is very firmly in the candidate’s camp. Employers are crying out for candidates. They need to get people into roles; so much so that they are pushing up starting salaries at record pace. This is happening at the same time that many sectors are experiencing notable skills shortages.
This means that employers are facing a situation where they can’t be as picky as previously. And when employers can’t be as picky, they are more likely to ‘take their chance’ on a candidate that doesn’t quite fit the mould yet, but could well do so with some effort and training from them. This means that your skills are more likely to be seen as transferrable in a way that when the market is more in the employer’s favour, are seen as dismissible.
How to make the change
The issue now is to gain confidence that now is the time to make a change, especially if the sector you’re hoping to move into is one facing particular shortages. This should be combined with showcasing your transferrable skills and addressing any glaring skills gaps. Many training opportunities are still accessible online and at lower cost than they have been previously, so upskilling yourself, ready for the change, is also easier than ever before.
And at F1rst Commercial Recruitment, we’re also here to help you support you with your career change. Our Advice Centre is always available for guidance, and our consultants can support you to explore how you can change careers securely right now.
Remember, at some point things will swing back and be back in the employer’s favour, when career change is harder.