4 Reasons Why 2021 is the Year to Change Jobs

With the acceleration to remote work, increased flexible working from home arrangements and more sophisticated digital interviewing and onboarding procedures now available, transitioning into a new role has never been easier.  

by hao-nguyen on September 6, 2021

Given the uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused around the world, it might come as a surprise to some that more than 40% of 30,000 people surveyed by Microsoft across 31 countries, said they are considering leaving their employer this year. 

But while the pandemic may have made booking an overseas holiday or planning a big function riskier, it’s had the opposite effect on the job market. With the acceleration to remote work, increased flexible working from home arrangements and more sophisticated digital interviewing and onboarding procedures now available, transitioning into a new role has never been easier.  

And it’s not just the physical process of changing jobs that’s taken a positive turn, as there is plenty of work available globally too. By May of this year, the total number of job vacancies in Australia had reached 362,500, a 23% increase from February 2021 alone.  

Between May and July, there were an average of 953,000 job vacancies in the United Kingdom, around 600 thousand more than the same period the year before, and Singapore’s job vacancies had climbed to 67,000 in the first quarter of 2021, up from 55,100 at the end of 2020. 

Plus, 975,000 Australians and 6.9 million Americans have actually already changed jobs in the last year, so even if conservative friends and family are warning you it’s a risky idea, there are millions of people who disagree. 

If you are thinking of changing jobs in 2021, here are a few insights to keep in mind.

1. Find a job where you can have a positive impact 

Trying to figure out what sort of company you want to work for? While you may think that a bigger organisation is a safe bet, it’s not always the case, as they are more prone to restructures and redundancies when a crisis hits. For this reason, viable start-ups or scale-ups provide great job security, as well as many other benefits. 

The pandemic has made many people reassess what’s important, and being employed by a smaller business allows you to have a much greater impact than if you’re one of thousands at a big corporation.  

The US and UK are widely considered the most ‘start-up friendly’ countries, while Australia has one of the highest rates of new start-ups in the world, so you won’t struggle to find a job that allows you to do good, impactful work, while learning a wide range of new skills and consequently advancing quickly in your career.  

2. You’ll have the chance to ‘go global’, despite being stuck at home 

Even though many international borders around the world aren’t allowing unrestricted travel right now, the world is more connected than ever thanks to the emergence of digital. It’s never been more appealing to work at a company that has the ability to expand globally, which is exactly what many start-ups are doing.  

According to findings from Startup Daily, over the last five years, businesses that expanded internationally during the first year of their existence grew 141 percentage points more quickly in revenue, and 15 percentage points more quickly in headcount, than businesses that were slower to reach international markets. 

So, joining a start-up may give you the chance to forge business connections around the world and be part of a business that is rapidly growing too. 

3. Keep an eye on growth industries 

Unsurprisingly, thanks to COVID-19, there’s been a huge increase in jobs across industries including government, healthcare and, well, toilet paper. But thanks to the need for everyone to pivot to a digital workforce, tech companies are going gangbusters too. 

This has meant that the tech industry is a particularly safe bet, with the US IT sector, which is the most significant market globally, holding a 33% market share. Even Australia has seen enterprise IT spending across all industry sectors projected to grow by 3.6% to reach a total value of more than A$95.8 billion in 2021. 

4. The expectations of employers is higher 

If the past year has proven anything when it comes to work, it’s the importance of having flexibility and support from your employer.  

With the switch to working from home, many employees were forced to juggle home-schooling, lockdown fatigue and a lack of separation between work and home life. But on the other hand, we all had a taste of the flexibility and extra time we get back in our day when strict nine-to-five office hours and a daily commute disappear.  

On top of this, many companies provided added levels of support and compassion for workers who were suffering under lockdown restrictions, which has led to employees having higher expectations of their employers. 40% of workers have even said they were more likely now than they were a year ago to consider accepting a job with a new company that offered better benefits than the one they are currently working for.  

This means employees have more bargaining power when negotiating the terms of a new role and employers are offering better perks to keep up with the increasing expectations.  

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