2021 Job Market: What Do Job Seekers Want, and How Can They Choose the Best Opportunity?


The labor market is reaching a recovery phase, showing a quick improvement in the last few months. The number of job openings in the US rose to 8.123 million in March 2021 compared to February 2021. 

Industries with the highest number of newly opened vacancies are accommodation and food services, state and local government, education, arts, entertainment, and recreation. Thanks to that, job seekers will likely have more opportunities to choose from in June and the last two quarters of the year. 

As an employer, it’s evident people are increasingly rethinking office life altogether

  • 67% of workers consider a flexible work setting a great way to improve work-life balance
  • 26% of 18-24 year olds said they’d turn down a job if it didn’t offer a remote work option. 
  • 26% of employees plan to leave their current job in the next few months
  • 25% of workers would leave their employer for an organization with better company culture. 

Anthony Klotz, associate professor of management at Texas A&M University recently said “the great resignation is coming” and with these stats, we couldn’t agree more. Job seekers are demanding more from employers than ever before, and they’re able to, due to the shortage of people ready to re-enter the workforce. In addition to remote work, Klotz identifies pandemic related epiphanies about family time, commuting, passion projects, as well as life and death that have made people turn their back on the 9-to-5 office grind. 

Looking to make a career change? 

Remote work gained popularity during the COVID era; however, it should not be the only deciding factor in whether you should stay or leave your current employer. Here are four additional factors to consider. 

  • Workload and schedules – If you already discussed it with your employer, but the amount of work and your schedule stay the same, consider looking for a company that offers more flexibility and doesn’t disrupt the work-life balance.
  • Health policies and well-being programs – It’s recommendable to find a company with a holistic approach to health because it will likely have efficient initiatives that protect your wellness and mental well-being. That includes free counseling, access to telemedicine, and mental health awareness. 
  • Salary protection and insurance – Ensure that your employer can provide financial and social care in case of emergencies, unexpected circumstances, and illness. 
  • Company culture – If you don’t feel a sense of belonging in your current workplace, look for the one that matches your ambitions, values, and identity.

Ensure you don’t settle for the first job that meets your qualifications and expectations to only some extent. Finally, look for workplaces with positive company culture, well-being programs, flexibility, and growth opportunities.

No matter if you’re already employed or job hunting, ensure your workplace is fulfilling and that it allows you to improve, grow, and thrive. Leverage what the post-COVID job market offers and find work that does more for you than paying the bills.