The COVID pandemic triggered a lot of life changes, especially for working women taking care of their children. Many mothers were forced to take a step back in their careers or quit their jobs altogether to take care of their kids while schools, daycares, camps, etc. were closed. As we emerge from the pandemic into a new economic landscape, now is a prime time for women to reengage professionally, determine their ideal work-life balance, and achieve their personal career goals.
You Are in Demand
Women who have paused their careers due to child or eldercare demands (the sandwich generation) or who need to start working again post-divorce often struggle with how to reenter the workforce or regain the traction of advancing their careers. Trying to explain a gap in your resume can feel intimidating and overwhelming. These feelings or fears often make women hesitant to reenter the workforce, even if they would really like to do so and are qualified.
The good news is that the current employment market is poised to benefit women seeking to return to the workplace, pursue new interests or go after a promotion. Unemployment levels are at historically low levels and the demand for employees is extremely high. If you’re looking for a job, you are in demand and employers want to find you!
Benefits of a Tight Employment Market
There are several benefits of a tight employment market if you’re a job seeker today. Consider the following points as you explore jobs and evaluate employment offers:
Higher Pay Levels:
The fact that companies can’t find enough employees has caused employers to pay more to attract and retain talent. Pay scales have dramatically risen in recent years, particularly for new employees as companies try to “win” job candidates.
A higher pay level is obviously beneficial to anyone seeking a new job. For women, it’s a great time to obtain meaningful pay, ideally breaking through some of the glass ceiling pay inequalities that still persist.
If you’re seeking employment and receive an offer, remember to negotiate. If you already have a written job offer, you’re in a strong position to negotiate within reason your starting salary, paid time off, hours, remote work options, and other benefits.
Beyond negotiating with the company presenting an employment offer, you could benefit from reaching out to other companies you have interviewed with to see if they want to make a counter employment offer.
The caution on waiting to accept an employment offer is that you don’t want to lose it. If you don’t accept immediately, always ask the employer if you can take a few days or a week to consider the offer.
Work flexibility is an important perk especially for women who are caretakers in their family. This is a hot topic and requested by employment candidates in today’s market, particularly since the pandemic and while gas prices are high. Many employers are allowing full-time and part-time telework and/or more flexible work hours to entice and retain employees. Such flexibility is often critical for working parents.
If work flexibility is imperative, make sure to discuss and negotiate the specifics at the onset of your employment offer. It’s ideal if the scope of flexibility is written into your employment offer and/or employment contract. However, if not, it is advisable to email the person extending the employment offer to confirm any verbal agreement regarding work flexibility. Having something in writing is always better than nothing.
Your Own Financial Independence
As you contemplate next steps in your career, remember that there are many benefits for women who reenter the workforce and expand their careers. These often include expanding opportunities for you and your family, gaining additional financial security, and, for those with children, providing additional role modeling for your kids. We elaborate on these benefits in our article The Benefits of a Two Working Parent Household.
As wealth managers, SageVest helps clients evaluate the financial and broader impacts of life decisions. Employment decisions are a key element to your finances. We assist you in exploring options, benefit structures, and the interrelationship to your broader financial and family objectives. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help.