Now is a great time to get a jump on your career by laying the groundwork for a job in 2015 to take your career to the next level. As the holidays rapidly approach us at the end of another year, why not use the festivities of the season to your advantage, as part of your job search strategy.
Inside this article is a brief look at which industries you can expect to see the fastest growth in pay next year along with the 10 ten hottest jobs you should keep an eye out for in 2015.
It is easy to sit back and consume the numerous recaps of “what happened in 2014,” or who are the “persons of the year,” and the countless “top 10 lists of 2014.” Pundits and news commentators will reflect on the dozens of stories and events that shaped our lives, careers, economy, politics, and values.
Well, that’s neither here nor there. This end of the year season is also the best time to ask these essential questions of yourself, as you recap your own accomplishments during 2014.
Did you achieve what you set out to do in your career? Did you advance your career to the next level in some way? Or, did you simply coast your career along to get along? Are there any more critical career milestone “bullet points” you can add to your resume?
We are also reminded that while everyone else is focused on the holidays and year-end seasonal festivities, this is actually the best time of the year to prepare for a job search.
Employers are focused on budgets and expense management. Hiring decisions are oftentimes put on hold until the first quarter of 2015.
Be that as it may, there are actually many “known openings” that will quickly emerge, shortly after the dropping of the “great ball” on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, ringing in the start of 2015.
Year end is the time that many employers and employees are focused on performance reviews and business plans for the coming year and those nice bonuses are paid out.
Many top performers in the workforce time their departures from their employers to take place after they have received their bonuses, thereby creating a number of unplanned job openings, companies now have to fill.
Notwithstanding – what can you do to find a job in 2015, while everyone else is talking turkey?
Here are six straightforward ways to fly over the holiday season to land a job in 2015:
#1 Brush up that resume, showcasing your talents for your next career move.
Really give your resume a good scrubbing to make sure it reflects you and your accomplishments in the most positive light for taking your career forward to new levels and career opportunities, and for matching your talents and skills for the higher-paying staff jobs expected to be available in 2015.
According to the October jobs report, more than 92 million Americans remain out of work — that is, 37% of the civilian population aged 16 and over — are neither employed nor unemployed, but fall in the category of “not in the labor force.” “That means they aren’t working now but haven’t looked for work recently enough to be counted as unemployed,” writes Drew DeSilver, a Senior Writer at the Pew Research Center. “While that’s not quite a record — figures have been a bit higher earlier this year — the share of folks not in the labor force remains near all-time highs.”
A large supply of jobs available for these folks are either temporary or part-time work. Nonetheless, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 data suggests that there are 2.9 million job openings out there right now. However, only less than half of the full-time openings are being filled.
The huge challenge is addressing the workforce talent and salary gap in between those highly-skilled professionals requiring higher pay, those lower-skilled workers requiring lower pay, and most of all, those falling in between these vocational paths, as their outlook is bleaker with fewer moderately paid industrial unit supervisors, postal workers, and staff administrators.
Kforce’s 2015 Talent & Salary Guide and Resource Center will give you insight on current industry trends, job openings, and salary data.
According to the Kforce website, a longstanding job sourcing and placement firm established in 1962, “America’s workforce began to change and the staffing industry emerged — providing a service to companies that needed temporary workers. Today the staffing industry continues to evolve and is now considered a vital element of the U.S. economy, employing more than 12 million Americans each year.”
Kforce provides contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire staffing solutions in the specialty skill areas of information technology, finance and accounting, healthcare, title and escrow, mortgage as well as banking.
#2 Enjoy the holiday cheer, but network carefully and wisely.
Use this time of year, when hiring managers and recruiters might be more jovial, or approachable to do some networking. Time may be stretched balancing dates among numerous seasonal festivities. But, make a few calls, or invite people to coffee to strike up a brief conversation on what trends they see in their industry for the coming year and what their hiring plans might be. Inform them about what you are looking to do your career and why you need to take your career to the next level?
Don’t be vague, you must offer a well thought-out value proposition to potential employers. You must also be very realistic about what you can do and what are your special talents and specific capabilities.
#3 Volunteer for something in the community or join your local rotary club.
Believe it or not key executives usually give up a portion of their time to “give back” to the community or their local rotary club.
If you can find some way to give of yourself during this holiday season, you may be surprised to learn that the person dressed in blue jeans, standing next to you, dishing out mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, turkey and dressing in the food service line of your local charity, also happens to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
The point here is you could be put in direct contact with like-mined folks interested in making a difference for others. But also, who otherwise, you could not get past their office gatekeepers.
If you don’t meet anybody, at least you will have done something to help someone else instead of focusing on yourself. Something you can feel good about.
Moreover, this is a good way to have a charitable giving experience you can share with others.
Besides, executive search consultants and recruiters like to interact with people, who show genuine concern for others and who have a genuine sense of humility about themselves.
Imagine a typical ice-breaking conversation with an executive search consultant, a job recruiter or a manager interview in early 2015, when you are asked “how were your holidays?”
Being able to say “My holidays were great. I really enjoyed the time I spent at the ABCare Agency, helping sort clothing donations for families in need. This organization really does a great job and I look forward to helping them whenever I can.”
This small statement speaks volumes about your character.
#4 Do your research on the industry sectors you want to find a job.
Do some research on companies that are doing well in your industry, companies that have announced relocation plans, new business lines, etc. Contact them directly, commenting on their plans and how you can help. Be on top of the trends, economic drivers and key influences impacting the industry you are targeting.
#5 Send some handwritten notes or holiday greeting cards.
Offer your best wishes for the New Year and include a few bullets about what you are looking to do. Tell them you will follow-up with an email of your resume in a few days.
DO NOT send a hard copy of your resume — everything is electronic these days. However, having seen this note from you, the person will be aware of your intention to forward your resume to them. And, they might be compelled to look at it, once it arrives.
#6 Take advantage of every opportunity offered to you to meet others.
By all means — enjoy the holiday season! Accept those invitations to parties and events. Don’t sit there and swallow your soul in self-pity, because you are underemployed or unemployed. There is no need to do a massive dump of your life history to anyone that will listen.
Rather, keep your comments brief. Make a few pointed statements about what you are looking to do, what you can offer, etc. But have fun, drink in moderation, and let others see you, as the interesting person that you are!
These are just a few tactics to help you stay focused on your job search over the holiday season and to effectively take advantage of this special time to think ahead about your next career move or perhaps taking your career to the next level.
Bottom Line Takeaway: Businesses are planning for job expansion and economic growth in 2015.
Seventy-four percent of 518 executives say their businesses will expand in 2015, according to a survey conducted from September 17 to October 20, 2014 by Korn Ferry, known the world over for high caliber leadership and talent consulting services. Survey results are shown here.
Anticipating job expansion and growth in the overall economy in 2015, “71 percent of executives plan to increase staff salaries in 2015. In addition, executives indicate that 2014 will end on a positive note, with 90 percent planning to give year-end bonuses, and 36 percent expecting to increase bonuses this year (2014) versus the previous year (2013),” Kerry Ferry announced on October 23 in summarizing their survey.
“Bonuses and salary increases underscore that there is a huge cost to replacing great people. Executives know this and there is incredible competition for talent,” said Nels Olson, Vice Chairman and Co-leader of Korn Ferry’s Board and CEO Services Practice. “The bottom line for most companies is in top line growth. Executives indicate that the number one reason they would increase hiring is an increase in consumer demand. In this environment, those who are driving sales and revenue are in a much stronger position to secure bigger bonuses and increases.”
CTPartners, a leading global executive search firm, released on November 4, 2014, its 20th annual Hot Jobs forecast of new and emerging executive roles for 2015. A list of the predicted ‘hot jobs’ for 2015, according to CTPartners, are in digital & marketing, retail industry, cyber-security & risk, life sciences & healthcare industry, human resources, and financial sector.
“The top factors influencing these leadership positions are driven in particular by the ongoing dominance of big data in business, the technological advances in security and risk and the increased rigor demanded globally for corporate governance,” the international executive search firm announced.
According to CTPartners CEO Brian Sullivan: “We are seeing a proliferation of executive-level roles borne out of the global influence of big data. Businesses are looking for leaders who can not only understand the massive amounts of information available to them but also identify the threats and opportunities that come as a result of this evolving landscape. As such, analytical roles such as head of personalization and head of people analytics, alongside risk and cybersecurity positions, are the new ‘in-demand’ roles that will be key to maintaining a company’s competitive advantage in 2015.”
Sullivan added: “Overall, the market remains highly competitive for top talent right now, with nearly three-quarters of our partners describing today’s environment as ‘fierce.”
The war for talent is definitely going to continue throughout 2015. In the U.S. alone, a record number of IPOs this year means that newly-public companies will need to develop a range of management and leadership positions to grow and compete successfully.”
What’s more the mega-staffing firm, Robert Half International, based in Menlo Park, California, has release their in-depth Salary Guide for 2015, which may be useful for you to gauge your next career or to make your career move to the next level. This guide is projecting an overall average increase of 3.7% for starting salaries in 2015. However, they predict the largest gains will be going to technology workers with starting pay expected to rise by 5.2%.
The top 10 hottest jobs of increased demand and salary ranges in 2015 are:
+9.5% Mobile applications developer, $93,000 – $132,000
+7.0% Chief security officer, $38,000 – $218,750
+6.0% Data Architect, $111,000 – $149,750
+5.3% Mobile designer, $70,000 – $98,500
+4.9% Sr. Lawyer, $136,750 – $192,500
(10+ years’ experience – Small to mid-sized law firm)
+4.8% Internal Auditor Manager, $105,500 – $146,000
(Large firms – $250 million in sales)
+4.7% Business Systems Analyst, $105,250 – $124,250
(Large firms – $250 million in sales)
+4.1% Senior Customer Service Representative, $43,000 – $52,750
(1-3 years’ experience)
+3.3% Corporate Accountant, $44,000 – $58,500
+2.9% Content Strategist, $69,500 – $89,500
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