The 3 Biggest Job Search Challenges During Today's Uncertain Times — And How Best to Tackle Them

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
June 20, 2024 at 6:47AM UTC

The pandemic, a recent recession (and a predicted impending one), the Great Resignation, and other challenges have made the job landscape difficult to navigate. Employers are coping with unprecedented obstacles, and job seekers are placed in unfortunate positions. The market is rife with never-before-seen hurdles and complications, and it’s more than a little frustrating, to say the least.

What are some of the most common challenges in the job search landscape today? And how can candidates overcome them — or at least weather them? Let’s take a look.

1. Overly long hiring processes.

Lengthy hiring processes are becoming more and more commonplace, sometimes dragging out for months while the candidate feels like they’re stuck in limbo. What do you do? You don’t want to come across as pushy, but you also need to know where you stand.

Early in the hiring process — around the first interview — ask for a timeline. The hiring manager may not know specifically, but they should be able to provide you with a rough estimate. Do, however, bear in mind that the process often takes longer than anticipated. If the hiring manager has told you that they will contact you or have a decision on a specific date, you should certainly follow up if that date has come in gone.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You may have a first choice, but you should be applying to other organizations in the meantime. If one company is dragging while another offers you a job, you can always use the offer as leverage to encourage them to decide more quickly — just be aware that this won’t always be the case. 

2. Rescinded job offers.

Rescinded job offers are another challenge we are seeing in job search trends these days. Often, this occurs through no fault of the new hiree — it could very well be because of budget cuts, hiring freezes, and other circumstances beyond the candidate’s control. But it leaves the would-be new employee in a lurch.

Unfortunately, you don’t have much control if your offer is rescinded. You can, however, control how you react. Always be polite. While you may be tempted to lash out at the employer, you must hold yourself back so as not to burn bridges.

Again, don’t wait around for the employer to come through. Keep applying and networking. If you landed a great role previously, hopefully, it won’t be too long before you land another.

3. Rigid job requirements.

Many employers have overly rigid job requirements when it comes to the hiring process. Perhaps, for example, they aren’t open to hybrid or remote-work models. Or perhaps they’re demanding certain levels of education for a role that shouldn’t necessarily demand that type of degree or credential.

Don’t look at these requirements as a barrier to applying. Qualifications tend to be more of an employer wishlist than a must-have, and too often candidates — female candidates in particular — don’t apply for jobs they actually are qualified for because of them.

Also, remember that once you have an offer, you are expected to negotiate. If factors like remote work are important to you, include them in your negotiations.

The hiring landscape is always a challenging one. However, these, like all obstacles, can be overcome. Keep at it, and you’ll find the role you deserve.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology, and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev, and many other publications and organizations. Her humorous writing has appeared in the Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, Flexx Magazine, Points in Case, Jane Austen's Wastebasket, and Greener Pastures. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

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