The good thing about predictions is that you can forecast anything you want and, if it doesn't come true, you can just shrug your shoulders later and say, "Hey! It was just an educated guess. I didn't guarantee it would come true. Don't blame me!"
That can work for everyone except weather forecasters, especially when they call for no snow a day before everyone winds up shoveling out from under a foot of "partly cloudy."
As your job search enters a new year, though, you're probably itching to know how it will all turn out and whether you'll land the kind of job you want. So, here are my five job market predictions for 2011 (including one very safe call):
- The job market will improve—a little. Businesses are growing again following the worst recession in decades. After two straight years of double-digit gains in the stock market, it's safer for employers to add to their payrolls. What does that mean to you? Be sure your resume is ready should the right job open up.
- So will salaries. The recession placed considerable pressure on salaries. But an improving job market means some employers will be willing to pay a little more to get the people they really want. Still, use the web to know what the job should pay based on your level of experience and the location of the job. That way, you give yourself a better chance at getting paid what you're worth.
- Social media and networking will become increasingly important to your job search efforts. Experts say most jobs are found through networking. That won't change in 2011, especially as employers try to hold down costs associated with posting jobs. If you aren't communicating with others on social media sites (such as LinkedIn or Facebook) in an effort to get hired, make it a New Year's resolution and stick to it, even after you land the job you want. And don’t neglect face-to-face networking either; you never know when someone will email someone who runs into you at your kid's soccer game with a job possibility that could be a good fit.
- More job seekers will realize the value of managing their careers. If the recession has taught us anything, it's that you need to actively manage your career. That means continually updating your resume and social networking profiles so that you're not caught unprepared when the time comes to look again. This complements the need to get better at networking.
- People will lose jobs and people will get jobs. This is my "safe" call that you can take to the bank! At least this guarantees that I'll be right on one of these predictions.
How do you feel about your job search as you enter the new year? Are you more optimistic? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.
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