You’re not alone
Episode 133 - What to do when everyone decides to rethink their careers
It's natural to rethink your career. We're in unprecedented times, causing many of us to review our career paths, consider taking a break or search for new opportunities.
In this episode, we will discuss strategies to increase your employability, even if you decided to take a career break, which many professionals are doing due to pandemic burnout.
When I develop ideas for episodes, I make a few assumptions about my listeners. For example, I assume they are ambitious for their career. Otherwise, why would they be listening to The Job Hunting Podcast!? I assume, of course, that they want a job and want to live their lives with purpose, as opposed to finding whatever job is available. They want to find a job aligned with their values.
Leading a purposeful life is a very post-covid sentiment. Everyone wants it. However, the outcome of two years of working and living under unusual circumstances has taken a toll. Many of us are burnout.
People "feel so apathetic now they're having to deal with the coronavirus and feel exhausted. They literally just want to lie down with a book, or sit and watch some TV, rather than keep the momentum going by working hard," says Kerry Allen, the BBC's China media analyst.
It's normal to want to take a break. Don't be hard on yourself for feeling unmotivated.
In this episode, I will:
Discuss what's happening with the labor force and why the unemployment rate is so low. It is not because the economy is thriving. It's way more complicated than that.
Offer you two better ways to assess your chances of getting your next job fast. A clue: it is not the unemployment rate!
Explain the importance of paying attention to trends and what type of news to consume if you want to advance in your career.
Resources mentioned in this episode
The Job Hunting Podcast Ep. 108. How long does it take to find a new job?
Sign up for my weekly newsletter for job hunters and career enthusiasts.
Learn about my group coaching and online course, Job Hunting Made Simple.
Download my free resource - Optimized Job Search Schedule: Free Workbook and Masterclass, to start a successful job search routine.
Transcript of this episode
[00:00:00] Renata: hi, I'm Renata Bernarde. And this is The Job Hunting Podcast, where I interview experts and professionals and discuss issues that are important for job hunters and those who are working to advance their careers. So make sure that you subscribe and follow and let's dive right in.
[00:00:30] Renata: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to The Job Hunting Podcast. It's Renata Bernarde here with a solo episode this time. I just wanted to make sure you have my support. And if you're a job hunting, you have my company weekly. And if you're a career enthusiast, you know where to always find career ideas. It's very late at night.
[00:00:51] Renata: It's almost midnight here in Melbourne. I've never recorded a podcast so late, but I feel energized. I’m just back from having [00:01:00] dinner with my oldest son and his fiancé, and I don't feel like sleeping, and I am wondering if it will make any difference to the squad, to the quality of the sound. The reason why I'm interested to know is because it's so, so quiet.
[00:01:17] Renata: I even have my office door open because there's nothing. Sound, no sound at all coming from inside the house or outside. And unfortunately, I have so many constructions happening in front of my house and the back of my house. And every day, I think about recording a new episode, and I'm to stand down by turned off.
[00:01:40] Renata: But all the sounds and the noise is coming from outside. And I wonder if that impacts the quality of the sound? Not that my episodes have been excellent in terms of sound quality. I know that I neglected sound quality for a while. I'm thinking about updating my microphone. This microphone [00:02:00] is now three years old.
[00:02:01] Renata: Even though it's quite a good podcasting microphone, it's probably. Not as good, as it could be. So maybe that's,that's some, an investment that I need to make for you, the listener. So today, I'm going to discuss developing your career in turbulent times in times of so many changes happening in your life, in your workplaces, you know, strategies that we have an election coming up in Australia as well.
[00:02:32] Renata: Other elections are happening around the world, and all of these things stand to impact the job market, unemployment rates, and people coming in and out of the job market. So today, I'm going to discuss how you can increase your chances. Getting employment or changing jobs while your still working or studying or doing something else.
[00:02:59] Renata: I know [00:03:00] sometimes it's tough to juggle a lot of things at once and job hunting, especially, because it's so hard for many people to do. It's something you're not very familiar with. So you tend to kind of procrastinate. I know that some of, some of you may, maybe. Like, you know, you've neglected your job search it's.
[00:03:19] Renata: Now I'm recording this in May. This episode is coming in May. You know, four months have passed, and you're still looking for work. And sometimes, this can be very frustrating. So as we move into this, uh, new month, I want you to. View re-energized, and I want you to reset your promise to yourself and your goals for the year and take it easy but steady and consistent over time.
[00:03:48] Renata: I also want us to learn new things, you know, and I want you to find out things you hadn't heard from me or from other people who will help your [00:04:00] career. So that's what this episode is also about. And how to prepare for a longer termlonger-term career strategy. I think it's essential to always be playingplay a short game and the long game.
[00:04:13] Renata: That's the thing about job hunting. If you are between jobs and invest your time in looking for a new opportunity, remember not to be transactional, right. So let's prepare to do this project and have this experience to benefit you. Want to move in the short term from one job to another, from one Korea to another.
[00:04:38] Renata: But as you meet people along the way, and you connect with them, that it, it, that you make yourself and your brand and your professionalism member. And that it then helps you throughout your career and not just in the moment in time, because that is an inefficient way of job searching. I don't want you to [00:05:00] do that now.
[00:05:00] Renata: I'm assuming that you are ambitious for your career if you're listening to this podcast. You want a job; you want a better job. You want a better. Career for you, and you want to live life differently. I think people who listen to a podcast called a job-hunting podcast. They are open to being coached.
[00:05:21] Renata: They're open to, you know, learning. They are aware tof hat. They may have an issue or some difficulties or a bottleneck, and they're looking to advance in their career. And I want you to fulfill that, that gap in your repertoire so that you become a more. Well-rounded professional. So that's, that's what I'm here to do.
[00:05:47] Renata: And not just for this episode, but for the entire podcast. And, you know, we have over a hundred episodes now for you to binge on if you want to. And it's great that you're here. Because again, there's a [00:06:00] self-selecting process, right? When people decide to listen to a podcast called the job hunting podcast, you already have an open mind.
[00:06:08] Renata: You're ready have an interest in this topic. So. Make sure that you invest in that, you know, and feel energized by this episode. And by listening to my podcast and getting touch with me, there are links in the episode show notes, where I will give you free resources, you know, the optimized job. So schedule is really, really well received by.
[00:06:34] Renata: My clients, people that follow me, recruiters, you know, compliment it. They say that this really helps and they recommend it to their candidates. So make sure that you download it and then check my website and find out the sort of services that I provide, because yes, I want to give you as much education and awareness in this episode and in other [00:07:00] episodes as I possibly can, but.
[00:07:02] Renata: Taylor is something for your situation in your career. And working with a career coach like me may be very beneficial to you. So what's the situation that we are finding ourselves in right now. You know, I have listeners all over the world and you know, it's hard for me to narrow it down. But if I look at where most of my listeners are in the us, in the UK and in Australia, We have a whole bunch of white collar workers, corporate professionals that are really rethinking their career aspirations.
[00:07:37] Renata: They are burnt out. They are exhausted and tired. They are keen to move. They're finding themselves in a bit of a FOMO situation of fear of missing out because they can see that there's a heat and the job market and a need and a demand for. For great candidates and lots of employers seeking the best [00:08:00] possible talent to replace the ones they've lost because a lot of people left the job market during this pandemic, or just decided to change jobs.
[00:08:10] Renata: So there's a competition for talent out there happening at the same time where you are possibly a bit tired of everything. And, you know, even though life is going back to normal, Parts of the world, if you're in China. , you know, I know Sean guys is in a very restricted lockdown and, and that's happening on and off around the world still as well.
[00:08:32] Renata: But we are coming out of the pandemic and into an endemic situation. Life is going back to a normal situation. That's different from 2019, there are lots of things that are different specially for the white collar workers. Many of us are not required to go back to the office full-time anymore. And in look, if, if you are in a situation that's different from what.
[00:08:57] Renata: I'm describing. That's fine too. I'm [00:09:00] just generalizing it here based on feedback that I received from my clients and for, from people that reach out to me. So many people send me messages and DMS and emails and, you know, I, I can kind of get a, a few, I have a feeling. Pulse on what my listeners are going through.
[00:09:17] Renata: And that's why I'm kind of describing this, this situation, but it may not be yours, but it's the situation that's happening to a lot of people where there is a demand for talent in the market. You might be feeling like you want to go and try out, you know, if there are opportunities for you, but you're also very tired.
[00:09:36] Renata: Your work is very demanding. There's demands from. Parts of your life, your personal life, and you're not there yet in terms of sanding your applications and being consistent with it or having any results from it. One thing that really excites professionals is looking at lower unemployment rates and that feeling that if the unemployment rate is low, [00:10:00] then it's a good sign that they can sort of, , jump from one job to another.
[00:10:05] Renata: Do that very quickly. It's actually a miss and it, unemployment rates are not designed for job hunters. They're designed for policymakers and employers. They are a very key economic measure. That's very recent. Did in the way that you can draw inferences for your job search, you know, and they they're measuring unemployment.
[00:10:29] Renata: They are looking for responses that are done within a certain week. So if you, if you have not been actively or looking for work, you're saying you're not looking for work that week. Let's say you've lost your job, but you're not looking for work because you've decided to rest or take a break then.
[00:10:48] Renata: You're not counted as looking for work. And then you're not counted as unemployed, like officially or not unemployed. If you're taking a break from work. If you're taking a break because you [00:11:00] have a sickness or you're caring for a family member. Kids or elderly family members, or if you're taking a holiday or if you're studying, you're not counted as unemployed.
[00:11:11] Renata: So a lot of people have left the job market. You see, during this pandemic, if you think about everybody that works in your country, uh, the labor for us is then split into employed people. Unemployed people. But what has happened during this pandemic is that a lot of professionals left the labor force. So they're not counted as unemployed.
[00:11:38] Renata: And of course not counted as employed. They're just not in the labor force. They're studying, they're retired, they're, you know, watching Netflix, they're doing something else. So for this reason, Counted as officially unemployed in you've left the, the labor for us. Then if unemployment [00:12:00] rate is low, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good time for you to look for work.
[00:12:05] Renata: It could mean that more people left the workforce. It could mean less people looking for work, but it would still take you just as long to find a new job, right? The further. Pyramid you are in a corporation in a, in a company structure. The hardest it is to find a job. I have addressed this in previous episodes of the job hunting podcast.
[00:12:28] Renata: I will make sure that I link it below so you can listen to them as well. And in sometimes when unemployment rate is high, It could mean that more people feel confident about their economy. They feel like they've rested enough from this pandemic and they're ready to come back into the workforce. So they start flooding the unemployed segment of the labor for us.
[00:12:49] Renata: Right. So I'm not so sure that a very low unemployment is that. Good for the country here in Australia, we have 4% unemployment at [00:13:00] this stage in may, and that is an average as well. That's the other problem with it. So it is an average and depending on where you are in Australia, for example, it's not 4%, you know, it could be 9% or 12% of 20%.
[00:13:17] Renata: If you're in a regional town, if you're in a different neighborhood or if you're a young. It's around 9%, you know, if you're 25 or under the unemployment is more than double. And if you are in a different industry or sector, it could also affect your unemployment, uh, percent. And it's not even really measured by golf mint.
[00:13:41] Renata: So you really have to, you have to do your own research. That's really important, you know, and understand that. The weeks that you look for work is the best possible job search job search measure for professionals. [00:14:00] Right? So for example, just before the pandemic, in 2019 in Australia, the number of weeks that professionals were looking for work, the average job seeker was around 11 weeks right now during the pandemic, that average went up.
[00:14:19] Renata: Almost 30. I think it was like 28 weeks. I think it was. And now, uh, at the end of 2021, the last time I checked, it was down to 13 weeks. Again, that's that is an average. And that's really important for you to remember, because that's say you are in a profession that it's very niche, or if you are a very senior executive, it would probably take you longer.
[00:14:43] Renata: If you are in a town that has a very small businesses. Again, it would take you longer. I was talking to a client of mine. She's quite senior, has worked for large global and Australian corporations and she's applying for a job regionally. And [00:15:00] she asked me, you know, is that going to affect my ability to find work?
[00:15:03] Renata: And I said, it will, you know, because if you, if you're moving regionally and then you want to stay there, let's say you don't like that organization. There aren't that many other big jobs for you in that town. Right. But you know, if you, if you're a king, if you are a cave to moving again, then fine. But if you want to stay in this down and settle there, then you need to start the job doing the best possible job you can in your new position, but also start very quickly developing the best possible network in that town, because there will be only maybe two or three or four, or the big employers there that.
[00:15:42] Renata: Cater for you, if you want a new job in 2, 3, 4 or five years. So those weeks of looking for work, they are the best possible way of planning your job search. And if you are looking for work whilst working full-time so you're not [00:16:00] job-seeking full-time jobs. As a side hustle, then it takes longer, you know, and sometimes we talk to people that say, oh, you know, I just applied and I got the job.
[00:16:10] Renata: Look, there are some professionals. And if they're in technology or data analytics or project management for a specific sectors that are really moving jobs quite easily these days, but that's a trend and that does not apply to everyone. And. It also means that they may naturally, or they may naturally be good at selling themselves.
[00:16:35] Renata: And I say this, you know, without any judgment, you have to sell yourself when you're looking for work and, or they may be very familiar with job searching. They may have changed jobs recently, and they know how to present themselves, how to write great resumes and COVID letters and job applications, how to attend a job interview.
[00:16:56] Renata: And answered the questions, asked in a way that [00:17:00] inspires trust and likability, which is what you need to do during a recruitment and selection process. And if you have been in the same organizations for, for, for decade, then you have missed out on the. Skills and you need to develop them. So, so yes. So median duration of job search, look for that, that information, wherever you are in the world, and then duplicate that that's the best way.
[00:17:28] Renata: So, and treat that as a project in the research or career program that I have, that you can access right now. I go to my website and you pay 219 Australian dollars. I think it's costing this timing may 20, 22. It could have changed prices in the future, but it's such a great workshop. It is a workshop.
[00:17:48] Renata: It's an action plan. And I, the first masterclass in that workshop is all about. Planning to reset your career, right? That's why it's called reset your career. [00:18:00] So planning for that change, how do you do how to you prepare yourself and your family and your network and your budget and your finances, your lifestyle to be without a job for six months and find a job in few confident.
[00:18:18] Renata: Doing it. So I kind of, you know, ant on a tangent here because I, I love reset your career so much, and I want more people to, uh, learn more about it and see if that's an investment that they're willing to make. But the other thing that I also think that is important for people to research. And that's, before you start applying for jobs is look at job vacancies for you.
[00:18:41] Renata: Look at. All the time, right? This is not because I want you to apply for jobs. I just want you to be clever at understanding how the job market is performing for your specific needs for your profession, for the types of jobs that you're seeking. So, [00:19:00] in fact, I, I recommend that you look for. Some preferred job titles for your next job, not only in your town, but maybe in other places in your country or even around the world.
[00:19:13] Renata: So that you're familiar with those position descriptions with those job ads and what they require from the candidate, the criteria, the responsibilities, the way that the job application is laid out so that you familiar so that it's not something. Alien to you. And then that dream job comes through and you have never applied.
[00:19:35] Renata: I've never looked at a job application before and you don't know how to read them. Now I teach people how to really read and understand the puzzle. Of job ads and when it's best for you to apply and when you should leave it alone and don't waste your time, that's in the reset your career. So you don't even need to, uh, work with me as a private client to learn that.
[00:19:58] Renata: But that's so, so [00:20:00] important. And it's basic skills for every professional. I'm sometimes shocked that people have great corporate careers and they haven't. They have never learned how to change jobs. They may have. Advanced internally through promotions or be tapped on the shoulders. But as soon as the tide turns and they find themselves being made redundant, which is very common and every corporate professional should be prepared for that to happen at some stage in their careers.
[00:20:29] Renata: Not only once, but twice or three times or more, then they don't know what. They don't have a network. They don't don't have the skills. They don't know how to apply for jobs. They've never been interviewed. I know professionals in their forties that have never had to do an interview. Can you imagine that the privilege and, and, and, you know, the amazing careers that the, you know, allow you to move from position to position and not have to really, , [00:21:00] applying that sort of more traditional.
[00:21:01] Renata: And that's great for them, but at some stage you may need to do it. And that's where I come in. So that's why I know these people they're here and I'm helping them. So I spoke at the beginning about this burn out, and I'm finding that more and more people are coming to me keen to move keen, to find a job, not knowing why they're not getting through to next rounds.
[00:21:25] Renata: You know, their applications are not being considered. But I'm finding that even though they wanted their energy is not there because they are so tired and sometimes they tell me, okay, I'll take a break. And I'm like, yes, please do take a break. So people that say, oh, you know, should I go on leave and then start working with you?
[00:21:44] Renata: Or should I start working with you before going on leave? And I'm like, lock me in. So at least, you know, that I'll be available when you come back, but please take a break, take a break. There's this. Flat effect in Asia, especially in [00:22:00] China, in, you know, in, in the U S we call it the great racing nation.
[00:22:04] Renata: There are other words for it as well, but it's really normal to want to take a break. Everyone. Don't be hard on yourselves for feeling unmotivated. The background to this strain to this trend is. You know, we have had a very tough couple of years and in fact, I find it really fascinating that most people that left the labor force, like I explained before a younger professional.
[00:22:30] Renata: So the ones that are under 25. And the professionals, my age, the over fifties. And you know, when you're 50 it's, you're still very young in terms of planning for retirement. I have a good friend of mine, Paul Burroughs. I interviewed him for this podcast. I think it's number 18 episode number it Cheney for.
[00:22:50] Renata: And he retired at 50 and we were shocked, but that was his goal in life. That was his career plan. I'm yet to have a client that [00:23:00] has that early retirement. I find 50 years old retirement goal, an early retirement goal in my view, especially because we're going to live until we're 90, if all goes well, if we don't have any big health issues, you know, we're living longer and longer.
[00:23:15] Renata: So I don't think about retiring. I'm just, I just turned 50. At my prime, I'm just so full of energy for my work. Right. So I, I feel like so many of my clients are like that. I have clients in their sixties looking for work and who are incredibly, you know, high qualified for the jobs that they're applying for.
[00:23:37] Renata: So I don't think of retiring at 50. So for people to be leaving the labor for, for a set fee, I think it's because of extreme burnout bent up. So I'm very interested to see if they're coming back and I hope that they will. And I, and the last episode before this one was about sabbaticals, and I think that this is such an [00:24:00] important topic to take a break from your career and then come back better than ever.
[00:24:05] Renata: And it's so important to, to take this break. So don't neglect yourself and. I don't feel and mot, uh, don't don't feel that, you are missing out on anything because you want to take time out. The job market will always be here for you. There will be opportunities where you, when you're back from your holiday, from your sabbatical, from your career, break, your health break.
[00:24:30] Renata: If you need one, right. So never feel like you're going to miss out on anything. It's absolutely fine to take a break, will leaving so much longer than. It's almost like you need a, a mini retirement, you know, just so that you can catch your breath and re-energize yourself for the next decade ahead. I think it's so important.
[00:24:52] Renata: And then when you're back, try to stay positive about your outlook in life and your attitude [00:25:00] towards your work. It's so important that you keep that attitude and that confidence, that exudes trust. I find that one of the things that really affect people's ability to get another job is their lack of confidence.
[00:25:16] Renata: And I can understand. That you'd lose confidence when you are away from your work, from your network of colleagues and professionals. But, that's why job hunting is in fact, a job job hunting is a job with several tasks and in fact, the distribution of those tasks is really important. And that's why that free resource may really help you understand that job hunting is not just sitting there in front of a job portal, applying for jobs.
[00:25:48] Renata: It's much more than that. It's much more fun than that. And I think that if you think about it, that way you might find that that project of jobs untying is [00:26:00] going to. And so much of value to your career, into the end, the new job that you start doing once that project is over. So download the optimized job, that schedule so that you can find out more about what you can do all day long.
[00:26:16] Renata: If you want, when you're job searching, there are three different. Schedules one is full-time. One is part-time. One is a light version. And I really like my clients that work with me to take that seriously. If we want to get those results, you have to put the time and effort into it as well. It's not just signing up for a coach.
[00:26:38] Renata: I'm not a fairy godmother. I'm just here to support the work that you will be doing. So there's that too, you know, and at least you will know that it's a guided and structured way of doing it. That will really take you from a to B if we are doing it the proper way. Now, one thing that you should do when you're job searching [00:27:00] and looking for work is to look at workforce trends, right?
[00:27:04] Renata: What's happening in your sector, in your profession. And what's happening and the workforce in general, and this is so important and not a lot of people spend time doing this. I find it fascinating. So many of my friends, even so many of the people around me do their jobs day to day without reading the news.
[00:27:28] Renata: And I'm not just saying, reading the news up to find out, you know, what's happening in sports and in politics and, you know, in your friendly neighborhood, I. Talking about reading the muse that talk about your sector, the company you work for, their competition, the companies that you have targeted to work for in the future, uh, the sectors of interest to you, the countries of interest to you.
[00:27:55] Renata: And there are so many great ways these days that you can get that [00:28:00] information already distilled and curated for you. You know, like my, my, my newsletter. Is designed to curate the best possible information for people that are job seeking. Right. So that's what I do. There are other newsletters out there and.
[00:28:19] Renata: Blogs, or you can create a Google alert to set up articles coming to you, ultimately to support your professional development and learning around a trends in your sector and industry and profession. So make sure that you include that as part of your routine. It's very important to create that habit because you will be.
[00:28:42] Renata: Such a more engaged in interesting candidates when you go for job interviews, if you've researched more than just the position descriptions and the company website, right. I CA it's the thing that I work with more, more and more with clients is to make sure that they're [00:29:00] going above and beyond to become more interesting candidates.
[00:29:05] Renata: Once you do that research, you will naturally have the most interesting questions to ask us. Wow. Okay. Those questions should never be vanilla template type questions. Questions. At the end of the interview that candidates ask hiring managers should come from a regular consistent understanding of your sector, industry, and profession.
[00:29:31] Renata: That's what really makes you announced standing candidate in the hiring manager's eyes. Look, I'm going to stop now because I've been talking and stop for over 30 minutes and I don't want to tire you, but I guess what we've understood today from this episode is that it's okay to take a break after a pandemic.
[00:29:54] Renata: It's important to understand that. This environment that [00:30:00] we're living in has really been affected greatly by, the situation that we've been through both, for at, at the micro level for you and other people, maybe around you, that you're a support. And for the economy and the business sector at large, the nonprofit sector as well, everybody has, is now having to reset and rethink their strategies have better foresight for the years ahead.
[00:30:31] Renata: And those things, they don't happen in isolation. It's about every single one of us. The best possible foresight for our own life and career ahead and putting the effort in to understand those trends and those statistics, like the ones I discussed before about the labor for us, about the time it takes for you to find a job about job vacancies so that [00:31:00] you do the best.
[00:31:01] Renata: Planning ahead for your, your move. I want 20 22 to be still a very good ear for you professionally. So if there is anything that I can do for you, you know where to find me and you will find my services there, my free resources.
[00:31:32] Renata: And I hope that we keep in touch. If you had trouble spelling my name, that's fine. They links to my website and many. And resources that I have mentioned today will be there in the episode show notes. So you can just go there, find it and click on the link. All right, everyone. Bye for now. And I will see you next time.
[00:31:55] Renata: Ciao.[00:32:00]
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.
Be my friend: Subscribe to the newsletter and access free tools to help you advance in your career.
My free resources for job hunters: The Optimized Job Search: Weekly Schedule & Masterclass.
Learn more about my services, courses, and group coaching: RenataBernarde.com
Work with me: Book a time to discuss private coaching for you and achieve your goals faster.