Posted by Paul McDonald on Friday, August 7, 2015 - 07:44 | Follow me
U.S. employers added 215,000 jobs last month, according to the newest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). July marked the 58th consecutive month of job growth for the U.S. economy. Nearly 1.5 million jobs have been added since January 2015; over the past three months, job gains have averaged 235,000 per month.
The overall unemployment rate stands 5.3 percent, according to the BLS, which is unchanged from June. The demand for skilled talent remains strong: The BLS reports that the unemployment rate for college-degreed workers 25 and older was just 2.6 percent in July.
Other highlights from the July jobs report include the following:
- Professional and business services added the most jobs of any industry in July, with 40,000.
- The healthcare industry added 28,000 jobs in July and has added 436,000 jobs over the year.
- Job gains in May and June combined were 14,000 higher than previously reported.
What does the jobs report mean for those currently employed?
If you’re currently employed, these results may have you thinking: Is it time to find a new job?
Summer is often when professionals step back and take stock of their careers. Family vacations, home moves, graduations and other similar summer events may cause you to re-evaluate your current position.
Or you may simply want to explore a job market that continues to show steady growth. Job opportunities are plentiful, and it’s natural to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. The BLS reported more than 5.4 million vacancies across the United States in May, the most since 2000. Hiring is especially strong in the information technology, healthcare and financial services industries. Many employers are willing to extend generous compensation and benefits packages to top candidates, even those who lack prior industry-specific experience.
Is now the best time to find a new job?
Employment trends aside, how can you be sure it’s the right time for you to make a change? The truth is that it’s sometimes best to stay put. Here are a few tips to determine if it’s worthwhile to go job hunting while employed:
Ask yourself, ‘Why do I want a change?’
Before you embark on your search, step back and think about why you’re seeking greener pastures. For example: Do you no longer find your position fulfilling? Do you feel underpaid? Are you frustrated by a lack of professional development opportunities or haven’t been able to advance? Do you not like the organizational culture? Or are you seeking better work-life balance?
Determine what changes, if any, would convince you to stay.
Once you identify the core reasons you feel it’s time to find a new job, consider whether those issues could be resolved in your current role. Many times, workers change employers simply because they think they can’t improve their situation. But the boss doesn’t even know they’re unhappy until they hand in a resignation letter!
If there’s a chance that one or more key changes — a raise, more training, a flexible schedule — would be enough to convince you to stay, schedule time with your manager to ask for what’s important to you. With skilled professionals in short supply, employers are motivated to keep their best on board, and you may be surprised by your boss’s response.
Prioritize what you would like, but don’t push your luck or issue ultimatums. No matter how valuable you are, every company has its limits. If you paint your boss into a corner, you could sour the relationship or find yourself out of a job sooner than you expect.
Remain under the radar if you pursue a new job.
If you have explored ways of reigniting your passion for your current position and still believe it’s best to explore other options, be discreet about your search. Managers often have a talent for sensing when an employee has one foot out the door, and you don’t want to do anything to confirm the suspicion. Be especially careful not to conduct any job search activities at work or on company time. It’s unprofessional, and you still have a responsibility to your employer to do the best job possible.
If you decide to job hunt while employed, keep in mind that you might not find your next position immediately. Yes, companies are looking for skilled workers, and they’ll jump at the chance to bring the right candidate on board. But like you, hiring managers and other decision makers are enjoying the summer. It may take longer than usual for them to evaluate candidates, come together to reach a hiring decision, and secure final approval for compensation and perks. Stay focused and stay patient!