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How to Look for a Job in Tech in 2024: 6 Industry Trends from an Expert

The author of this article is career coach and self-development specialist Elena Bogdanova.

career coach and self-development specialist Elena Bogdanova

In my previous article about job market forecasts, I wrote about global developments, including a reduction in vacancies, and what to expect in the future. Unfortunately for job seekers, those forecasts turned out to be accurate. The trend of decreasing tech vacancies persists this year, but other areas of focus have emerged. Let's consider what to expect in the job market in 2024.

Trend #1: Tech talent shortage

The tech talent shortage is not new; it has been tracked for the last 5 years. By now, we've learned how to deal with it. Yes, there is still a shortage of skilled engineers, but there is also a large group of people who cannot find a job and say that there are fewer vacancies in tech. This is fair.

Wage growth has significantly slowed and is not expected to rise in the near term — at least not at the pace it did before. It should be acknowledged that some companies have ceased hiring employees in certain locations, and have relocated development to places where maintaining it is cheaper. This presents a difficulty: experienced engineers still expect high salary offers, while companies are hiring more junior developers and mentoring them internally. This approach by the companies is cheaper and more strategic: while the junior is mastering the technologies, they are also getting acquainted with processes and soaking up the corporate culture.

Trend #2: Acceptance of job-hopping

The second trend, which puzzles me, is job-hopping (changing jobs every 1-2 years, often including a career change). In the past, companies were wary of those who frequently changed jobs after such a short time. Now, it has less impact on the decision to hire a candidate. This trend has spread widely due to rapid changes in the industry and the global economic situation. Some job seekers lost their jobs due to layoffs, while others are looking for opportunities to develop that are not available at their current company.

Certainly, we're not talking about changing jobs every 2-3 months over a period of years, but searching for something new after a one-year contract has ended is now almost the industry norm.

Trend #3: Increase in layoffs

Since we mentioned layoffs, let's consider this the third trend. It emerged last year, and it seems that it's not going away any time soon. Layoffs in tech continue, and are likely to for the foreseeable future. We should not blame the economic crisis or the implementation of artificial intelligence for this. Instead, the prime reason for job reductions is to increase a company's efficiency. Tasks are redistributed, business processes are streamlined, and after such a reorganization, it's easier to detect redundancy and ineffective resource allocation. In small companies and startups, layoffs occur for this reason — it's a natural process, similar to natural selection.

Trend #4: Focus on wellness

Vertical growth has become less attractive as a career opportunity. While it remains the point of interest for many, interest in this career vector has significantly decreased. A significant contingent of job seekers have shifted their focus from career achievements to work-life balance. They are willing to give up a pay raise and a promotion to devote more time to other areas of life. Wellness has become the new reality and companies will have to look for other ways to retain talents now.

Trend #5: Trend towards flexible work schedules

The next trend to consider is the format of collaboration with companies. There is a movement toward hiring employees part-time. Yes, there are certain business tasks that are constant, and it's important to cover them with full-time employees. Fluctuating or seasonal tasks, however, are easier to outsource to freelancers. From the candidates' side, there is a huge demand for flexibility in the form of schedules and work formats. Part-time employment is an excellent way to find common ground for a win-win collaboration.

Trend #6: Is remote work here to stay?

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about returning to the office after the pandemic is gone. Some companies noticed a decrease in employee productivity during remote work, and want to solve this problem by bringing employees back to the office. Observations show, however, that decreased productivity doesn't depend on the place of work. Fully remote work is likely to become less common, while the hybrid work format may stay with us for a long time. Offices will change their purpose as a result: shifting from a place to complete work tasks, and transforming into networking zones and cross-functional team workspaces.

How to look for a job in 2024

So, how do you look for a job in 2024? In reality, almost nothing has changed compared to previous years. You need a strong resume with a clear transmission of your skills, effective communication from both sides, and a willingness to compromise. These are the 3 main keys to success.

But there is also a trend toward transferable skills. More and more companies are ready for a new perspective on their tasks and processes. They are willing to hire employees without experience in a specific field, but with relevant skills from other areas — this expands the candidate market and provides a broader view of company work processes, adding efficiency to the company's work.

How do you get closer to your long-awaited job offer?

To get their much-desired job offer, a candidate must continue their development, deepen their expertise, and be ready to transform and have a more flexible view of their career.

At the same time, personal efficiency is a top priority: the focus is no longer on how much you did, but what you did.