When the country went into lockdown in the middle of March, many individuals actively looking for new opportunities in the mid to senior job market decided to put their searches on hold and remained with their current employer. The reasons for this varied, from personal circumstances to the fear of the unknown. Now, with plans to fully re-open schools later this month, will the recruitment market experience a drop in active candidates again?
There is uncertainty amongst individuals in the industry with young children or teenagers as to how they will go about their day once schools open again. Working parents who may have previously relied on childminders, grandparents, neighbours or friends to help out with school runs and after-school activities will face new challenges in their everyday lives. They will require the flexibility to face each day as it comes and adapt yet again to a new normal.
So what impact does this have on the job market? Of these individuals, some may be looking for the next step in their career while others may be unhappy in their current role and feel they are ready for a change. However, right now their minds are elsewhere – and as a father of two young children, I can understand why to a certain extent. With questions looming around how schools will implement practices to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus or approach a situation whereby a student contracts the virus, changing jobs is probably last on the agenda.
There is also a fear that a new employer will not be as facilitating for individuals who have young families, removing the flexibility needed to adjust to a new routine, or that the demand in terms of time and attention required from a new starter would be just too much to commit to. And so, the search for jobs and candidate activity in the mid to senior market as the school year starts may very well slow down.
While the decision to look for a new job certainly depends on personal circumstances, remember that given the situation over the last few months, people are fantastic at quickly adapting to changes in their lives and employers may be more flexible than you think.
If you are considering taking that next step in your career, keep the following in mind:
Use a Recruiter: We want to remind you that we are here to help. Our team have extensive experience working with individuals and clients in the financial services recruitment space. We can provide market insights, CV writing tips, interview guidance and more, so reach out to us at email@example.com.
Remain Open to Opportunities: Even if you still have some doubt, keep an eye on the job market for any interesting opportunities that may arise. Have your CV and cover letter updated and ready to circulate if a role opens that is suited to your next move. Ensure your LinkedIn account is updated so that recruiters can find you in their searches and turn on the ‘open to opportunities’ option.
Be Honest: Have honest conversations with recruiters and/or potential employers from the outset. Make it clear if you will require flexible working hours and the ability to work from home for the foreseeable future, or if you are not free at certain times of the day because of school runs.
Prepare for Remote Interviews: Remote interviews are very different to in-person interviews and can be daunting for some, however with the right preparation, they can be a lot easier. Check out our How to Successfully Prepare for Remote Interviews article for top tips.
Remember Your Notice Period: On average, a standard notice period is two to three months meaning if you secure a new role at the beginning of the school year, you won’t start until sometime around November. This allows a good amount of time to adjust to a new family routine.
When we went into lockdown, we never thought we would be able to adjust to combining our work and personal lives under one roof. Despite the few minor mishaps (yes, we’ve all had a child, family member or even a pet join a work call unexpectedly!), working from home turned out fine for most people. Adjusting to a new routine with schools re-opening will take some time to get used to, but it will be the ‘new normal’ soon enough. So if you are ready for change in your career, please keep the above tips in mind.