What to Expect in a Job in 2022 ( and how to check it is on offer!)

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What to expect in a job in 2022 is to be “looked after”. Good working conditions have been redefined recently! So many burned out in the pandemic’s extreme pressure. The Great Resignation has become a global movement, affecting millennials and CEOs alike. We want to spend our time in meaningful work with recognition, not just money.

Experts now advise us to take our working conditions into our own hands. This means:

  • renegotiating roles and pay
  • ensuring the departure of colleagues doesn’t create excess workloads 
  • being actively involved in restructuring the workplace; including mentoring and reverse-mentoring 

What to expect in a job in 2022 ( and how to get it)

Appreciation of your contribution is key

Compensation and pay rises only provide around 50% of performance motivation. It is more important to feel valued by the boss. If they single you out it is powerful; e.g. bespoke thank you gifts or regular notes.

In the interview process you can ask straight out “how does the team know they are valued?”.  If it is with an annual company-wide £50 Amazon voucher, the company might not focus on individuals enough.

Wellbeing is essential

Mental health issues and employees going “missing” abounded in 2021. Employees did not feel looked out for or checked in on. The biggest sufferers have been women; feeling pressure at home and at work. My own experience was similar and I was in the fortunate position to take a sabbatical. Valued and seen workers report a huge uptick in wellbeing and productivity. Wellbeing is about feeling rewarded for the work we do. Moreover it is about and employee benefits that enhance mental and physical health, not just flexible working.

In the interview process ask what benefits are in place. How is the company enhancing community/belonging in increasingly virtual workplaces? With this query you are demonstrating that you care about the wellbeing of colleagues yourself. You can be proactive with an initiative or set up a social network. 

We expect to own our professional development 

I hear about “go up or go out” (i.e. aspire to promotion or leave if you can’t prove you are  ambitious enough) culture. Others note a lack of input into their professional development. Don’t be confused into thinking that if you are not ready to move up the ranks/want it you are not right for the company. For instance, you can show you want constant challenge and to make rolling improvements in the role you are in.

Employees want a renewed sense of purpose in their work. A shared identity. In addition, people management is not for everyone and nor can everyone be a manager.  A good employer appreciates individuals are motivated in different ways, not necessarily by titles and people responsibility. Inclusive managers encourage workers to grow in directions congruent with their aspirations. This maximises effectiveness and job satisfaction; therefore job tenure.

Enquire if they have a culture of allowing employees to expand their existing roles thereby still having a greater impact. With the role expansion would there still be training and salary increases?

The rise in online working should not mean 24/7 availability. OOO is OOO.

With increased virtual working can come the expectation that employees will “keep an eye” on their email. As a result we might feel obliged to action emails even when we are not contracted to work. You want a culture where days off are days off and non-working hours remain so on the whole. Most importantly,  as a perk, employers should give explicit permission to switch off completely.

Check your employer’s view on responding to emails out of contracted hours. ​​24/7 availability equals burnout. 

How is any new hybrid environment agreed? What to expect

Remote working is not a big criteria for selecting a job because it is the norm now. A good boss listens to employees to understand their needs as individuals and collectives. It is a fine line between feeling a sense of belonging at work and being able work from home when you want. A good manager defines the new working balance of in-person time with the team and listens empathetically to establish new guidelines and norms. This is what to expect in a job in 2022.

See if the teams’ remote working patterns are decided upon as a collective. If not; are the team broadly unanimous in their support of the guidelines?

Asking what is in place for these measures does not make you look lazy or greedy.  Moreover, too many friends and colleagues who paid too high a price for these measures not being in place. 

These are exciting times for employees. The good employers can enhance workers’ experience in clear ways and therefore retain staff.  Good people are in higher demand than ever before.  In summary, ensure that your target companies offer what you should expect with a few targeted questions.

Photo by Alex Alvarez on Unsplash

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