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  • Writer's pictureJodi-Tatiana Charles

The New Normal for High-Paid Unemployed Professionals

April 30, 2024

My good friend Flo posted on LinkedIn something that caught my eye and sparked a conversation that seems to be resonating with everyone: the struggles of job seekers in today's market. According to a survey by Aerotek, nearly 70% of job seekers find their current search more difficult than their last one. Every day, it seems like the headlines are filled with news of more layoffs across various industries, including technology, government, financial firms, services, transportation, and industrial goods manufacturing.


Some are calling this job market brutal, and it's not hard to see why. Despite reports of unemployment nearing a five-decade low and a growing economy, professionals in sectors like tech and legal are finding it challenging to secure employment. Surprisingly, those who make less than $55,000 are faring relatively better in terms of hiring rates.


However, among those who make more than $96,000, the outlook is considerably bleaker, marking a reversal of the usual trend where high earners thrive while lower-income workers struggle.


The reasons behind this shift are complex and multifaceted. Are companies cutting costs by reducing expensive workers, or are earners making $96,000 and more opting to stay put? Is the era of the "Great Resignation" over? Experts suggest that there are fewer job quits, struggling industries employing high earners, and companies cutting back on costly employees as part of cost-saving measures. Some observers are even dubbing this combination of lower hiring and less quitting as "the Big Stay" or "trapped in place economy," indicating an equilibrium after the chaos of the Great Resignation.


In such a challenging job market, it's essential to prioritize building your personal brand. Branding yourself is crucial in today's competitive environment. Establishing a strong personal brand helps you stand out from the crowd and showcase your unique skills and expertise. Create a compelling online presence through your LinkedIn profile, personal website, and social media accounts. Share relevant content, engage with your audience, and demonstrate your thought leadership in your field.


As exhausted as you may be mentally and may not want to leave your home or computer, networking is needed. Networking allows individuals to tap into hidden job opportunities and expand their professional connections. Building and nurturing relationships within your industry can lead to invaluable insights and opportunities that may not be advertised through traditional channels. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with peers and potential employers.


Keeping active in your community is another essential aspect of a successful job search. Volunteering, attending workshops, and participating in local events not only enrich your life but also expand your network and enhance your skills. Additionally, being involved in your community demonstrates your commitment to making a positive impact and can lead to valuable connections and opportunities.


Navigating today's job market requires a proactive approach and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. By prioritizing branding yourself, networking, and staying active in your community, you can position yourself for success and overcome any challenges that come your way. Remember to stay resilient, maintain a positive mindset, and embrace all that is yet to come.



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