Whether you’re contemplating a career change or looking to feel more empowered within your leadership role, a new year can bring about excitement and renewed motivation to take those first steps and make those changes. Given the current climate, however, the prospect of change can leave you questioning whether now is the right time to switch things up in your career.
But what’s in store for the year ahead? Will it be much of the same or can we expect some changes? I may not have my crystal ball but here are some of my career predictions for 2023 and why I believe now is a great time to find your career joy!
1. The job market will continue to be uncertain but employees have the upper hand
There’s an interesting dichotomy right now where some employers are not only competing to hire the best talent but also retaining the best talent, giving employees the upper hand to negotiate and make more demands. At the same time, there are other sectors making large-scale redundancies and stripping their workforces back, which understandably may make you feel anxious about what the future holds.
Yes, whilst this makes for an uncertain market, you should be encouraged the market is still buoyant and there are opportunities out there. In my view, now is the right time to take stock of your career development and opportunities. Control is firmly sitting in the lap of employees.
2. Finding fulfilling work will remain a priority for many
If you’ve been asking yourself ‘How do I create a work life that feels fulfilling and nourishes me?’ - you’re not alone. Whether it’s still a hangover from the post-pandemic world, a symptom of the uncertainty we are living in or our heightened awareness of the importance of well-being and mental health, finding meaning in our work is no longer viewed as a nice to have. It’s a necessity. The big title or salary doesn’t carry the same motivation anymore and more and more of us are looking for that all-important purpose.
We’ve moved into a time when employees are re-evaluating their careers but from a much broader perspective. The paycheck and security are still important (we’ve all got bills to pay!) but it’s not everything. Having a career that fits all aspects of our lives and brings us happiness is something many will continue to seek this year too and for many, trump the monthly salary.
3. Follow your talents not the title
The meaning our careers hold for us has changed over the last few years and there’s now a greater understanding and recognition that following your talents can bring you more job satisfaction than chasing a fancy title.
When we’re using our strengths, things feel effortless and easy so once we can identify what we’re great at, we can start seeking those opportunities to maximise and leverage them more. Knowing what our strengths are however is often our biggest blindspot. This is something the coaching space is great for as it enables you to rediscover and appreciate what you’re brilliant at and embrace them as your superpowers to achieve your potential.
Not only this, but given the competitive job market, now more than ever, employees are looking at ways they can upskill and advance their careers. If organisations aren’t focused on professional development and investing in their talent, they’ll likely lose out in 2023.
4. Connection and collaboration are still very much in
The shift to remote working has been beneficial for many - less commuting time, more flexibility and a better work-life balance but in-person connection is still very much wanted and needed. Whilst we’ve gotten used to working in a certain way, this has also led to many employees feeling disconnected. As someone who values connection and being surrounded by other people, I know it’s something I’ve missed. Building relationships and trust aren’t easy to do through a screen. There’s just something about being in the same room as other people to collaborate and share ideas - it’s energising! Whilst I’m sure remote and hybrid working is here to stay, employees will want to have more of a say in where and how they work. If you value connection too, looking for ways you can bring that in will mean your work will feel more meaningful to you.
5. Leaders and managers need to coach more and ‘boss’ less
The Great Resignation has left many employees wanting more. More meaningful work, more autonomy, more transparency, more trust and more recognition. They don’t want to be and are no longer willing to be micro-managed and told what to do for a paycheck. Employees want to be part of an organisation where their leaders and managers inspire them, value them and are invested in developing their talent.
LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report revealed that not only is professional development a top priority but being part of an organisation where there is a focus on employee well-being, care and compassion - recognising that there is more to life than just work - is just as important. Organisations, therefore, need to be savvier in order to attract and retain their best talent. They will need to take a look at their company culture and invest in developing their leaders with coaching skills that build on areas such as self-awareness, effective communication, and empathy. These will have the biggest impact when it comes to getting the most out of workers and success for the business. Great leadership after all is all about empathy and authenticity - if employees can’t recognise these attributes in an organisation, they’ll go looking elsewhere.
So, final thoughts? There’s no way to predict how 2023 will play out. These are uncertain times and whilst we can make assumptions and speculate what we think may happen, it's impossible to know what the future holds.
But that doesn’t mean you should stay in a career that doesn’t make you happy or feel right for you anymore. As the saying goes, no one is coming to save you. The reality is nobody cares about your career development as much as you so it’s important to take control if you’ve started to feel that niggle. Maybe 2023 IS the year for you to make those changes? To take those first steps or turn those steps into strides. To find more meaning in your work, leverage your strengths, find connection, and seek that joy.
Whilst there’s an opportunity for employers to re-evaluate their approaches and focus on ways to retain their talent, employees certainly have the upper hand and the opportunity is ripe to curate a career that fits around every bit of you.
Anna Hewitt, Founder of Steps into Strides, works with ambitious professionals who want to achieve the next step in their career with confidence and clarity. Anna works with individuals on a 1:1 and group basis and offers team and group coaching for organisations looking to support, nurture and grow their staff.
If you would like to discuss how coaching can support you or your employees please contact firstname.lastname@example.org