As lockdown gradually eases and our way of working continues to adjust, even those who are the most comfortable in their jobs may be questioning what this means for them and their career. While it’s difficult to realistically predict exactly what will happen in the near future, especially in an industry like tech which is evolving rapidly, we do know one thing – recruitment is on the agenda for tech organisations across the UK.
Keeping an open mind about the course of your career therefore is a tech professional’s biggest asset right now, so here’s why you should adopt this mindset as we enter a new era of work.
Opportunities are plentiful
For many business leaders, their primary objective is to keep their organisation afloat during what has been a period of complete turmoil. To do this, they recognise they need strong talent and a robust workforce in place. Recruitment is therefore very much on the agenda – in fact, over a third (34%) of tech employers are still actively recruiting according to our latest Market Insights Report, based on a recent survey of over 16,000 professionals we carried out.
For obvious reasons, these employers will be on the lookout for specialist skills pertaining to the specific role in question. But as always, employers are looking for the whole package when it come to a strong candidate, so soft skills like communications, problem solving and flexibility are also in demand. Any experience of change management is also a top priority for employers navigating these uncertain times.
If any of these resonate with your own skills profile, then it’s likely that your CV will stand out to those hiring - so staying open-minded about your career options might lead you to an exciting new opportunity before you know it.
Career prospects are a priority
Our survey found that one of the biggest impacts coronavirus has had was on professionals’ career prospects. A fifth (20%) of tech professionals describe their career prospects as poor or very poor and professionals now feel less confident in their ability to progress their career since the coronavirus outbreak.
If you are in this camp, you’re not alone. Career progression is increasingly important for professionals in this day and age and it’s frustrating not to be guaranteed a clear direction in your role. Harness your hunger for a new challenge by seeing how you might be able to step up the ladder in a new role. If you let your recruiter know that this is a priority for you, they’ll be able to hand pick potential roles which satisfy this.
Your skill profile has shifted
Since entering lockdown, many of us have been afforded some extra time, perhaps as a result of eliminating a lengthy commute from our routines or being placed on furlough leave. This has led lots to commit to upskilling personally and professionally, which might have opened doors to new opportunities which weren’t available previously.
As our social distancing restrictions look set to be in place for some time yet, there’s still plenty of time to acquire new expertise if you haven’t already. Consider areas like these which will be of benefit to your work and career:
- Coding: competition for accomplished coders is growing fierce and these skills are increasingly being put under the spotlight. Even if coding makes up your everyday work, consider expanding your skills by enrolling in a course on Codeacademy to set yourself apart
- Microsoft Excel: it’s is one of the most important office programs used across the world of work and no matter what industry you work in, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself using it at some point. YouTube is a helpful place to start if you are looking for free online tutorials at all levels
- Writing: OpenLearn, the Open University’s free learning arm, can help you brush up on your writing skills which will continue to be of value throughout your entire professional life
Make sure that any new skills you acquire are highlighted on your CV. Not only does this show your commitment to independent learning but also demonstrates initiative in terms of using your free time productively.
Supporting your job hunt in the corona-era
If you think it would be worth exploring your career options, you don’t have to go it alone. It’s an unsettling time for all of us, so consider enlisting the support of someone who can guide you through your job search. It’s the job of a recruitment consultant to be an expert in their field and navigate the job market no matter what the conditions are, so make contacting your recruiter the first step to what could be an exciting new opportunity for your career.
Download the Market Insights Report for more insights into employer and employee sentiment right now. For additional resources on topics including video interviews, looking after your wellbeing whilst working remotely or how to stay professionally productive whilst on furlough leave, visit our Inspire Me in the New Era of Work hub.
About this author
James is Director of Hays IT, Digital Technology and Project Solutions in the UK, Ireland and EMEA. Having joined in 2000, he is responsible for the strategy of Hays’ Project Solutions, IT and Digital Technology businesses, which includes IT contracting, permanent technology recruitment, resource augmentation and statement of work solutions across both the private and public sectors.