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Have you heard about the Great Resignation — a term first coined in the United States in 2020 in response to millions of workers suffering pandemic burnout, re-evaluating work-life balance and quitting their jobs? In Australia, many people are leaving or changing their jobs, causing disruption to our jobs market.
We’re already in a tight jobs market due to labour shortages and overseas workers not yet able to enter the country, which means employers are in fierce competition to fill vacant positions.
With power firmly in the hands of job candidates, and more people leaving roles to take up other work opportunities, there is no better time for women to ‘level up’ their careers, and they don’t even have to leave their current role to do it.
Here are our top professional guidance tips from QSuper’s Recruitment Lead Ashleigh Mansbridge and SEEK HR expert Jess Burr on how women can upscale their career in 2022.
QSuper’s Ashleigh Mansbridge confirmed the current tight labour market was creating the perfect climate for women to advocate for change in their current workplace.
"A tight labour market favours candidates instead of employers. This means women are seeing their colleagues resign and move on, opening up opportunities internally for them to step up," Ms Mansbridge said.
Keep an eye out for upcoming opportunities, and don’t be afraid to make your interest known. For example, if someone more senior in your team has resigned, don’t wait around to see how things play out.
"Speak to the relevant leader and let them know that you’re interested," Ms Mansbridge said.
"Offer to cover the role while they go through the recruitment process. It’s a great way to showcase your skills and get a leg-up on the competition."
Many women find it awkward to speak to their manager about the possibility of their next role, particularly if they see themselves moving outside of their existing team.
"A good leader will help you achieve your goals and develop in your career," Ms Mansbridge said. "Let them know you’re committed to your current role, but there are other areas you’d like to develop as they may be able to help you find opportunities or create opportunities for you."
Are you happy in your role but need more flexibility? Have you taken on additional responsibility and would like that acknowledged financially?
Now is an excellent time to speak to your leader about improving your current situation. To be in a position of real strength do your research, back yourself with data (check out the SEEK Salary Look Up tool) and prepare your reasons for asking.
If you are thinking about changing jobs, SEEK Client Optimisation Manager Jess Burr said a tight candidate market is the ideal time to do it.
"You are going to have more opportunities to look at, plus employers are reviewing their workplace benefits to attract and retain people," Ms Burr said.
It is also a great time for women who left work during the pandemic to find a new job with greater flexibility than they might have had previously.
There is no better time to seek, and ask for, job roles and benefits that best suit your need so get clear on what that looks like for you. Do your research to find out your potential new employer’s selling points.
Research shows that females are less likely to put their hand up for a new role unless they tick all the boxes regarding the role requirements.
"Instead of thinking, 'Can I do everything this role requires?' change your mindset to, 'Would half my skills and experience translate into the new role?'" Ms Burr said. 'Back yourself and your ability to learn the rest on the job.'
She’s on Q is a QSuper initiative designed to help empower women to make informed decisions about career, financial security and life goals.
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