Innovative decision-making is your no. 1 power tool for your 2021 job search, and it starts with a more intuitive and richer understanding of what is authentically meaningful to you. Employers are choosing candidates with a different lens as both corporate cultures and roles are changing to meet the moment.
Simply put, 2021 signals a different era in all things business.
The pandemic changed many businesses and it refocused how we do business.
The pandemic changed each of us.
We have all spent virtual time in one another’s living rooms; we’ve met each other’s pets and children online; we’ve seen laundry and no make-up. We’ve been vulnerable with strangers, and we cannot unsee all of that. Nor should we. We’ve been altered—and so have our perceptions and our values. What’s possible has shifted and is still shifting, opening the door to a job search that can be more customized than ever before. What is important to you now is very likely different from what may have been important to you before the pandemic. With this realization comes choice and a bit more freedom.
Dig deep and connect to what you really want and lead that, innovate it and look toward it with fresh eyes. Not every company will embrace vulnerability. Remember that these companies may not be your next best choice for a work environment! Not only does a potential employer get to pick you, but you also get to pick them. Just because they have a job that you are qualified for may not mean that it is a good fit.
This is the perfect time to re-access your work values. What makes you happy now?
Make three lists.
1. Make a list of the things that are important to you about your next position.
Focus on everything from the scope of the job to the salary in your pocket. Do you value IRL or virtual office space? Are transitional benefits what you seek, or are you looking to rewrite this and make them your own? What value do you add? What are your non-negotiables?
2. Make a list of both the traditional and the non-traditional benefits that make you feel happy and validated as part of an organization.
Don’t overthink them. The goal of this exercise is to examine what is possible. Lay it all out on the table and manifest the changes that you seek. Most of us have experienced a massive change in priorities and acknowledging it helps us redefine them. Just because you have always worked on Friday does not mean that you must work on Friday in your next role. Get clear on what you want and why you want it. This is the most direct route to getting a job that fits all aspects of your life.
3. Make a list of what you desire within a corporate culture.
Do you love being part of a team, or do you prefer working autonomously? Do you value mentorships and a push toward learning? Do you enjoy being creative or by the book? Are you traditional or more contemporary in thought? Do you like building things that don’t exist, or are you better in a more established environment?
These three lists represent your reworked and updated work values. Fine-tune and marry the three lists together. Combined, they support you in creating new boundaries that come from a place of choice and self-leadership. The best way to succeed in the job search in 2021 is to envision your dream role. Grab hold of the fresh possibilities. Take a “whole life approach” to balance both the personal and professional aspects of your life.
While every company will not embrace change and restructuring in the same way, those that do will be making new and unique business decisions—ones that could match perfectly with your own. The trick is to get super clear on what is important. When in doubt, ask a potential employer directly about their corporate culture and inquire as to how the pandemic has changed how they hire and how they run their business. Remember to be as conversational as possible. People like to hire real, genuine, multi-facet people. Being in the flow conversationally elevates your energy and confidence, allowing you to be more direct and vibrant amidst a sea of potential applicants.
The pandemic re-assorted how we each manage our time and our values. Company time and company values are no exception to this. What is possible, acceptable and productive has been altered in the process. What may have been a barrier before, may no longer be one. Organizations, where jobs did not exist over the past year-plus, will undoubtedly see a shift in roles—perhaps a migration out that will, in turn, provide new opportunities where previously there were none.
Stay current in your niche and line of work, and don’t simply assume. This is an unprecedented time for employers and employees and absolutely anything is possible. Lean into your own truth and be the solution the organization you want to work for needs.
What's your no. 1 piece of 2021 job search advice? Leave your answer in the comments to help other FGB'ers.
This article was written by an FGB Contributor.