Job Searching in 2021: Tips to Help You Adapt


It is probably safe to say that many of us were eager to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. The pandemic took a toll on every aspect of our lives—including, and in some cases especially, the way we work and what our job search looks like. And while we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, there are still a lot of things that could affect the economy (vaccine timeline, new presidential administration, etc.), so we might be feeling the ripple effects of 2020 for a while.

However, the new year brings a fresh start and there is no better direction than to push forward, regardless of what was left behind in the previous year. If you are one of the many individuals who is currently looking for a new job, we have put together some things you need to know about finding a job in 2021.

#1: Look towards those key industries that are booming: While the pandemic has had a negative impact on many sectors, there are certainly industries that have been thriving through 2020 and are projected to exceed expectations into 2021.

Here are some key industries to watch, according to experts:

  • Tech space: 2020 was a big year for tech companies, largely because they don’t rely on physical storefronts for business and can often operate almost entirely online, as most of their employees can work from home.
  • Healthcare and health tech: The healthcare and tech industries will continue to expand as the pandemic continues to make society more health-conscious and reliant on technology. Look for hiring across a wide variety of healthcare-focused organizations, including frontline providers and virtual medical care.
  • Fintech: Even before the pandemic, the financial services industry was trending toward online banking. COVID accelerated the transition away from a brick-and-mortar presence, so we’ll likely see more jobs in the online banking and fintech sectors.
  • E-commerce: You know all of that online shopping we’ve been doing? It’s had an impact. We’re going to see an increased focus on e-commerce and consumer goods, as there’s been a rise in people buying products rather than services. Companies that were already online or were able to navigate the transition to selling almost exclusively through the web will likely continue adding headcount to meet demand into 2021.
  • Customer service: There’s going to be a lot of demand around anything involving customer service. This should translate into increased demand for customer service representatives across a variety of industries, but most notably software (as companies continue to rely on virtual business and remote work) and retail (as consumers continue to do the majority of shopping online).

#2: Temp, contract and freelance work will be on the rise: During an uncertain economy, firms often rely more on temporary or project professionals. They may feel cautious about hiring, but at the same time they don’t want to be understaffed and have work that must get done. That means you will see more job postings that fall under the temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, and freelance categories.

One thing that is positive about contract roles is that it can turn into something more permanent in the future. Freelancing can also be a great way to strengthen your skill set, build your resume, or break into a new industry.

#3: Working from home is here to stay: The pandemic has changed the way many employers think about remote work, and it’s unlikely that the number of people who work in an office will ever return to pre-2020 levels. Most likely, some companies will embrace remote work in 2021 and beyond, others will want workers back on-site, and still others will look to hybrid and flexible models. In the meantime, many organizations will also continue to conduct their hiring processes remotely, regardless of what type of stance they adopt on remote work in the long run.

  • TIP: Broaden your job search. The remote work trend has opened up so many possibilities. Not only can you apply to the usual jobs in your area, but you can also apply for jobs that might be based across the country.

#4: Diversity, equity and inclusion will play a greater role in hiring than ever: The trend toward diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace was a big one in 2020. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others prompted nationwide protests, demanding that we all take a hard, overdue look at racial inequality in America. There have been far-reaching reactions throughout corporate America to try to rectify institutional bias and address diversity, equity and inclusion in hiring and other company practices.

Glassdoor has launched new tools for assessing and rating companies for their handling of issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • TIP: Do your research: Use Glassdoor’s diversity, equity, and inclusion tool to ensure that you are directing your job search toward companies that align with your values, and that provide an equitable and inclusive work environment.

After such a tough year, you deserve to give yourself the chance to find your dream job. Even though it may not seem like an easy time to make a change, sometimes opportunity knocks when it’s least expected. Phyton Talent Advisors is here to help. Let our expert advisors help you get your career to the next level and put you on a new path to success. Here’s to a better and brighter year in 2021.