Career Counselor Edythe Richards shares her 2018 Career Predictions

We all want a promotion, more money, better job security, and a better work environment this year. But during these volatile times, it’s hard to predict what the best career and educational paths are to pursue. As we enter the New Year, I am pleased to share my top 10 career predictions for 2018 with you. I hope they will inspire your job search and professional development.

  1. Moving beyond Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). The days of “posting and praying” that your resume will be read are on the decline. Companies are becoming proactive in terms of sourcing candidates, but this isn’t enough. Savvy organizations are adopting Talent Relationship Management strategies in a holistic approach that not only identifies candidates but engages talent and builds networks. Recruiters will soon switch from ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to TAS (Talent Acquisition Systems), which will allow candidates to set their own parameters and receive real-time feedback. Talk about instant gratification!
  2. Return of the (chat)bots. We don’t like to wait for anything these days, and that includes the status of our job applications. Organizations are listening, and thus Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been on the rise and will continue in 2018. This may mean “bots” responding to emails and scheduling appointments to more virtual interviews and use of social media in the hiring process. Time to brush up on your technology skills!
  3. Full-time, permanent jobs are dwindling. Most research indicates that the number of temporary workers, freelance consultants, and/or part-time job seekers will exceed 30-40% of the global workforce. Many of these workers are fully embedded into the organizations and may not be discernible from full-time permanent employees. HR is slowly coming to the realization they need to make sure these workers are performing up to par, but the onus of responsibility will be on the workers to ensure their skill-sets continue to be marketable.
  4. All about retention. While unemployment is falling, the number of unfilled jobs is on the rise. Company loyalty isn’t what it used to be, and today’s workers take on new opportunities at faster rates. This means that employers need to work to keep them, particularly in high-demand fields like technology and engineering. Expect to see employers offering more development and advancement opportunities, as well as creative reward packages.
  5. More human interaction. We’re seeing a movement beyond “traditional” job skills and more of a focus on social skills and Emotional Intelligence. Some companies are already redesigning their work-spaces to enable interpersonal relationships and personal connections between employees – which may mean more cubicles and less telecommuting in some places.
  6. Employee-centric organizations on the rise. Employee engagement is still horrifically low, but leaders are beginning to pay attention. Perhaps spurred by the violent events of the past year, as well as the influx of Millennials in the workforce, leaders are beginning to understand that it’s not the perks or salaries that sustain employee motivation long-term: its meaning. Experts have found that it’s the employee experience that is the foundation of engagement, and this correlates positively to the customer experience. Forward-thinking leaders know that the best way to improve their company’s bottom line is to invest in their employees.
  7. Millennials become bosses. Known for their impatience when it comes to advancing in the workplace, Millennials’ time is finally here! Now that they’re in their mid-30’s, they are beginning to take on leadership roles within their organizations.
  8. Beware of an improving economy. Some reports indicate another recession is a mere 2-3 years away. It all depends on whether Trump’s tax cuts will create the jobs he promised. The best things individuals can do is save for a rainy day, don’t spend money on temporary luxuries, and have multiple sources of income streams in-place – in the form of side-gigs.
  9. Life is better – again – for recent university grads. It wasn’t long ago that college graduates struggled for years to find work. Now multiple reports indicate employers plan to hire more of the class of 2018. Expect to see college seniors get more offers in the form of long-term training or internship programs – before they graduate!
  10. Health and well-being get prioritized. There’s a shift in viewing well-being from a reactive approach (i.e. tracking sick hours taken) to a proactive focus around wellness, managing mental health, and creating a supportive culture. It’s logical that knowing an employer cares about their health and well-being will make employees more satisfied, loyal, and motivated at work.

This article was also published on LinkedIn