Tami recently joined Kate Hanley’s “How to Be a Better Person” podcast, where she shared her perspective on the radically shifting job market in the wake of the pandemic, and what job seekers can do to successfully return to work. Listen to the podcast here, and check out some highlights (from the full transcript) below:
Where the job market is headed, and whether women are coming back: In the professional sector, we’re seeing hiring is back booming again. Right back to the levels we were seeing back in 2018 and 2019. [But] there’s a lot of disconnect in the workforce right now. And one big one…is childcare. Many schools are still closed either fully or partially. And of course, many schools are now closing for the summer. The summer camps are, some of them are open, some of them are not. Younger childcare has been [especially] decimated. Daycares have closed all over the place. So families are really struggling to find what they need for caregiving, which of course is holding back women’s workforce [participation].
Top advice for women returning to the workforce: “There are systemic challenges that you’re going to come up against and you can’t change systems by yourself. But you can also control the story that you tell yourself. So you can tell yourself a story that says, no one’s ever gonna hire me because I’ve been out of work too long. Or you can tell yourself a story that says, I have a lot of value, and I need to figure out the best way to offer that value, in a consistent way, by doing basics like networking: reaching out to people you’ve worked with, reaching out to people in your community, having those good conversations and recognizing that it is going to be a long game. Job hunting is terrible for everybody. It’s full of projection and it’s hard. [But] you can use rejections as stepping stones along the way and say, okay, that’s one more no on the way to yes. The great thing about job hunting is you only need one yes.”
How to make time for job-searching: “There’s interesting research about how heterosexual families in particular prioritize the time that men need to find job in a way that they don’t do for women. So I tell women, take the time you need to spend networking, sending out applications, having meetings, figuring out what you need to do. You can make this a priority for yourself. And the dishes can sit in the sink for another day and the laundry can sit in the pile for another day. And you can make this a priority because it is.”
Where companies stand on remote vs hybrid work: “I think the reflexive ‘you can’t possibly do that work from home’ has kind of gone away, and I would say the best opportunities are going to be available to people who have some flexibility, like those who are open to being in an office for some amount of time. [It’s not] impossible to find remote-only [work]. And in fact, there’s probably more opportunities to find remote work than there have ever been. That’s only going to increase with more and more jobs that companies of all sizes are open to hiring remotely.
But I think people who are interested in more of a hybrid approach for themselves, right from their point of view, are going to just have so much opportunity and be able to really leverage their skills and talents in whole new ways. The dam has burst on the idea that you can’t be productive that way.”
On how company policies may shift to meet employee needs: “I think there’s going to be bursts of policies, and then reactions to those policies. And I think it’s going to be very disruptive for the next year. As companies make policies, [they will] see how those policies then affect their employees, both their retention and their recruiting efforts. I think high talent, high performing people, have suddenly seen a new world to which they can aspire. People are starting to see, I can have my job and my work-life balance too.
What I hope also happens is men start demanding some of that flexibility and requesting some of that flexibility. Are we making space collectively for men to reassess the relationship they want to have with work, and the relationship they want to have with their family, and how they want to manage their lives as well. Because that would be very welcome for everyone.”