Taking Advantage of a Hot Job Market


Despite rumblings about the potential for an economic slowdown, the labor market has remained extremely tight lately. That’s good news for workers, who should be able to take advantage of the situation to push their careers forward.

The unemployment rate is sitting at 3.7%, hovering above multi-decade lows. That figure means that most people who want a job have one, signaling a shortage of qualified workers for companies looking to fill positions.

The situation should give job seekers negotiating leverage when they get to the bargaining table. Good candidates will have multiple positions to choose from and will be able to negotiate good terms when it’s time to get hired.

However, the circumstances still call for some finesse. Getting everything out of the hot job market requires tactical thinking and an awareness of what’s possible. Here are some things to consider as you look to take advantage of the hot job market:

Know Your Options

To make smart career moves, you need to have the proper information. The first step toward taking advantage of a strong job market is to find out as much you can about the situation.

The 3.7% unemployment rate applies to the economy generally, but different segments will react in different ways. You need to learn about the conditions that exist in your particular industry and how they impact your specific position.

Don’t Be Afraid to Change Jobs

Change can be scary. You might love your current position, and dread the thought of moving to a new job. However, you can’t let that get in the way of potential career advancement.

Job markets don’t remain hot forever. Economic conditions can change quickly. It’s like a game of musical chairs, except that, in this version, a large number of chairs can disappear overnight. You have to be ready to move fast to take advantage of opportunities.

Look for Leverage

While you need to embrace the possibility of changing jobs, a switch might not be necessary. A strong labor market means additional opportunities. More jobs are available and employers are under increased pressure to keep the employees they have.

With retention a problem, companies become more willing to give raises to keep good workers, rather than taking a risk on finding someone new. Take advantage of that dynamic. Talk to your bosses about the possibility of a raise. They might be more open to the prospect than they would in other circumstances.

Negotiate for Perks

Just because a labor market gets hot doesn’t mean your company has any additional revenue. They might not be able to afford raises, no matter how much they would hate losing you. Still, that doesn’t mean you lose all your added leverage.

You can negotiate for non-monetary benefits. These could include a more flexible schedule or increased vacation days. Get creative in your negotiation and you can still get something out of the strong market, even without jumping to a new company.

Watch Out for Advancement Opportunities

Additional money and improved benefits aren’t the only profit from a hot labor market. The situation can also lead to increased advancement opportunities. You might find plenty of room to push your career further at your current firm.

To do so, you need to be vigilant for the chance to maximize your potential. Look for open positions on the corporate rungs above you. With the hot labor market, the company might have trouble filling the spots, making them more open to promoting from within. It will give a kind of “home field advantage” when it comes to moving ahead.

Getting the most out of market conditions is important in pushing your career forward. That gets easier when you have expert help. A strong recruiting partner, like DHR, can put you in the ideal position to earn more and set the stage for further growth.

Contact DHR today to learn more.

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