Why do people choose to jump jobs? And when they finally decide to make that leap, what’s the biggest obstacle holding them back?
CompTIA recently explored these questions as part of its latest Job Seeker Trends report. It found that, for most job seekers, a combination of factors drove them into the arms of a new employer. Top factors included (in descending order) changes in their financial situation or values, the feeling of being stuck in a rut, unhappiness with current career trajectory, and burnout.
When pursuing a new job, seekers reported that finding the time to actually apply for jobs was a significant barrier, along with mental fatigue, trying to balance out the job search with work and family time, information overload, and automated resume screeners.
As you might expect, the need for additional training is also a barrier for many job-jumpers. “The majority of job seekers expect to need additional training when transitioning into a new career field,” CompTIA added. “However, a relatively small subset of Job Seekers have reported taking a training class or other instruction (12 percent). This could be a function of some Job Seekers still deciding which career field to pursue; the logistical or financial considerations of training; or uncertainty.”
For some seekers, trying to land a tech job is also an intimidating prospect: “A net 56 percent of job seekers report say some facet of the confidence gap is definitely or probably a factor in discouraging segments of individuals from considering and pursuing a tech job role.”
Fortunately, many of these challenges are surmountable. For those who are self-learners, there are lots of free resources available online (including videos, text-based documentation, and tutorials) for everything from programming languages to network engineering. For example, if you want to learn Python (one of the world’s most popular programming languages), you could head over to Python.org for a handy beginner’s guide before drifting over to Microsoft’s video series, “Python for Beginners,” which features dozens of short lessons (most under five minutes in length; none longer than 13 minutes) in the various aspects of the language.
And yes, many employers rely on automated tools to scan resumes—but that’s not something to fear. Read the original job posting and note its listed skills; make sure that your resume and application materials list those same skills (provided you know them, of course). That tactic, combined with writing a resume that shows how you’ve positively impacted your previous employers’ strategies and bottom lines, will boost your chances of landing in front of a human recruiter or hiring manager.
Applying for jobs can often prove a lonely process. Some tech professionals try to find an “application buddy” (perhaps a friend also going through the same hiring gauntlet) who can provide feedback and encouragement. Whatever tactics you choose, keep in mind that many thousands of people from all walks of life are hired for tech jobs every year—with the right preparation, you have a solid chance at landing the position you want.