2021 Career Predictions And New Trends
By Robin Ryan Posted 01-06-2021

No one got career predictions right for 2020 since we didn’t foresee the pandemic happening. Everyone’s career has been impacted in some way since COVID-19 hit the globe. As we look ahead, we see with certainty some new trends and dramatic changes that will affect your career and any job search you might undertake. These predictions are broken down by topic.


REMOTE WORK IS HERE TO STAY. Employers are making a paradigm shift, and so for many of you, this is excellent news and allows you to find more opportunities anywhere across the US. Millennials and GenZ seem to dislike working from home the most as they often find their social life tied to work. Returning to the office will be slow, and for many companies, not happen until after most Americans get vaccinated.


HATRED OF ZOOM WILL INCREASE. Too many people have grown to intensely dislike all the Zoom meetings and the inability to interact with customers, vendors, or co-workers in person. Once the workday is done, employees will stay off their computers.


LAYOFFS CONTINUE: Large amounts of job layoffs will continue throughout the year. Employers of all shapes and sizes will tighten their belts as they need to control costs, and many struggle to survive. Expect more retailers to fail. For lease signs will be in abundance in many parts of the US as retailers, small businesses, restaurants, and storefronts continue to close. Most of the jobs lost in 2020 from the hotel, aviation, airlines, cruise, oil & gas, colleges, restaurants, Gaming, Auto parts, Leisure, and entertainment industries will not return in 2021. McKinsey reported that many hard-hit sectors could not recover until 2025, particularly arts, entertainment, recreation, hotel, restaurants, educational services, transportation, manufacturing, and oil and gas.   

CHANGING CAREERS: Job losses will force many unemployed workers to change careers as their industry remains troubled and they can’t find any work in their old field. Adding new skills, getting a more in-demand skill certificate, learning a trade, going to graduate school, or finishing a college education will all be needed for people to transition into new, different careers and jobs.


COMPANY LOYALTY DECREASES. People are complaining that they are working in a vacuum and hate isolation. Others feel no connection or loyalty at all now that they work from home. Expect company loyalty to continue to decrease as people worry more about their own future. A direct result will be workers sprucing up their resumes and updating LinkedIn to land a new job someplace better.


HIRING TRENDS: The number of new job openings slowed down in November according to the US Labor Department, and it will continue to be slower in December. You can count on many employers to begin hiring in early 2021 with two exceptions. First, employers in any locked down states will likely slow down or even stop hiring temporarily. Second, large employers with a hiring freeze may continue that for the first 6 months of 2021. Overall, expect the hiring process to be slow and take much longer than before. 


INTERVIEWS: This process will continue to take much longer than ever before. Expect to have 3-8 interviews before a job offer. Employers remain nervous when they do not meet you in person and make candidates go through several extra interviews and online assessments before deciding. Career experts say that job candidates have underestimated how hard it is now to excel in an online interview and secure a new job. Many are very surprised when rejected. These two Forbes articles on interviewing are most helpful:  Best Way To Open An Interview To Secure A Job Offer  plus How To Answer New, Hard Interview Questions Employers Now Ask


MORE WILL HIRE PROFESSIONAL RESUME WRITERS. The challenging job market will push more individuals to hire a professional resume writer to outline their skills, experience, and accomplishments to get through employers' Applicant Tracking Systems. With more people jumping into this unregulated field, this Forbes article How to Hire a Resume Writer and Not Get Duped is insightful. 


SALARY NEGOTIATIONS: Good news! Employers are still paying top dollar when they decide to offer you the job. Be ready for salary questions and know the best strategies for negotiating salary and perks. Read this Forbes article: Think You Can’t Negotiate Salary Right Now? You’re Wrong


COVER LETTERS NEEDED: A well-written cover letter will once again become essential to distinguish yourself from the competition. Generic or standardized letters will likely draw easy rejections from employers. This Forbes article is helpful: Formula for Writing An Attention-Grabbing Cover Letter


JOB HUNTS WILL TAKE LONGER: The job hunt for 2021 will be much longer for everyone. Expect a search to take 6-12 months before you land a new job.


BOOMERS WILL RETIRE SOONER: Many boomers are fed-up with working through the challenges of the pandemic. Some got pushed out into an earlier retirement. According to Pew Research, 28.6 million left in the third quarter of 2020. This trend will continue in 2021. Older workers will continue to be shoved out by employers. This trend will impact all job levels, including executives, middle-level workers, and lower-level employees as employers to cut costs.


BURNOUT WILL INCREASE: Higher numbers of people will suffer from job-loss worries, work from home challenges, isolation, and feeling overworked, taking their toll on their mental health. Healthcare workers, executives, and small business owners will continue to be the top people to suffer from extreme burnout. (For tips for handling burnout, read Forbes article How To Deal With Covid-19 Burnout at Work )


2021 GRADS: Unemployment amongst new college grads will remain high with many 2020 grads entering 2021 still unemployed. The 2021 graduating college seniors will need work experience gained through internships to be able to compete for jobs. Grads will have to be more openminded when evaluating some of the the jobs available as they likely do not need a college degree to perform it. High paying jobs will become fewer and far between with many positions starting at the $40,000/year range. Many grads will become easily discouraged by the poor job market. Some will give up looking and decide to attend graduate school or take a gap year. To be successful and get a career launched, grads will need to rely heavily on networking.



This article originally appeared on Forbes.com

 © 2020 Robin Ryan all rights reserved.


Robin Ryan is America's leading career authority. She's appeared on 2000 TV & radio shows including Oprah, Dr Phil, Cnn, ABC News and NPR. Robin has a career counseling practice working with works with individual clients across the US helping them land better jobs.Robin Ryan is the bestselling author of 60 Seconds & You're Hired!; Winning Resumes; Retirement Reinvention; Winning Cover Letters; Soaring On Your Strengths; What to Do with the Rest of Your Life; and Over 40 & You're Hired. For more career help visit: www.RobinRyan.com

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