With the New Year here in full force, many employees are setting their sights on new goals, new jobs, and new careers.
One question I keep hearing is “What’s new in 2016?”
Let me answer that with a quick rundown of eight important career trends we’ll see in 2016:
1. Multiple Careers
It’s becoming more and more common (and acceptable) for employees to switch jobs every 3-5 years. In fact, its almost expected. In the past, this was frowned upon by many, but in 2016, it will be more the norm than ever before.
2. Boomerang Workers
With the more people switching jobs more frequently, this was bound to happen. It’s more and more typical to see an employee leave a company and be rehired a few years later. And why not? The employee gains valuable experience and can negotiate a higher salary upon return. It’s a win-win, as the organization gets someone who already has knowledge about and experience with the company.
3. Work/Life Balance
As more millennials join the workforce, the focus on work/life balance is increasing. Millennials want to do meaningful work – and they want to have personal lives, too. They aren’t lured in by big paychecks if that means they’ll lose all of their personal time.
4. New Work Perks
In an effort to hit home with younger workers, more companies are beginning to offer creative perks, including student loan repayment, fertility and adoption assistance, flexible work hours, and remote work arrangements. They’re also offering more onsite perks like free lunches, laundry, and childcare.
5. Better Maternity Leave
There’s also been a big push to give workers more maternity and paternity leave – and to give them more options in this realm, too. Some companies are allowing employees to work less hours after a child is born without quitting altogether. Others are adding the option for dads to also take time off alongside moms.
6. Contract Workers
In the past, consultants were reserved for large corporations. They would hire consulting firms that smaller businesses could not typically afford. Today, more individuals have become independent consultants. Some were forced into those roles after a layoff, while others chose to leave the corporate world to gain control and fulfillment. The influx of these specialized workers into the workforce has made it possible for businesses of all sizes to take advantage of consultant services.
7. More Promotions
There are 3.6 million baby boomers slated to retire in 2016. Many of them are in management roles, and when they go, someone will have to fill those spaces. Younger employees will finally begin to feel upward movement: Because so many baby boomers are leaving the workforce, roughly 25 percent of millennial workers will become managers this year.
8. More Movement
Many people have been sticking it out in jobs they don’t like for years. The rising number of available opportunities will create increased movement. Many of those who’ve been waiting to make a move will find 2016 to be the right time to do so.
As with all things, these trends vary by region, by organization, and sometimes even by seniority level. Do your own research on company websites and job searching sites to find out who is offering which benefits and perks. Glassdoor.com has valuable information on both benefits and company cultures.
Good luck with your career in 2016!
A version of this article originally appeared at MemphisDailyNews.com.