The past year has certainly been challenging for many industries, causing many individuals to stay in their current jobs for safety reasons. In January, a Workforce Confidence survey of 5,500 LinkedIn users found that 74% were “sheltering in job” – mostly to maintain financial stability. Less than half of the shelterers said they were actually enjoying their current roles.
While COVID-19 has undoubtedly caused setbacks, professionals should still work to avoid career stagnation. Sheltering in your job is a poor strategy to adopt this year, especially within the Fintech sector, which has continued to grow and innovate. Fintech recruiters are always looking to fill new positions, so it’s certainly worth looking at what else is available.
Keep Your Options Open
If you no longer feel challenged each day, it’s time to start considering your other options. Being open to the future will help you to become more aware of opportunities that may be a better match for you than your current position. If you are looking to advance within Fintech, the best ways to do this are working towards a promotion where you are (including receiving clear instructions from your manager what achievements are necessary to obtain a promotion) or changing companies.
As so many people in the US are “sheltering in job,” a promotion within your current company is likely to take much longer than previous patterns would suggest. Many employers are taking advantage of the sheltering trend and counting on staff being content to sit tight. Is your company supportive of your growth and advancement? If not, you may want to consider moving up by changing companies, where your skills and knowledge will be highly valued.
Further, is your current company stable? Is it moving forward in a strengthening economy? Too often, you think you are "safe" where you are – but one thing Covid has taught us is that things happen unexpectedly and beyond our control. If you are not growing and developing new skills, you could potentially be less marketable if/when layoffs or restructuring occur. In the end, exploring your career options and development is actually more prudent than hunkering down.
An interview is just an interview
If the opportunity arises for you to secure interviews this year, take the meeting! Participating in an interview doesn’t mean you are definitely leaving your current position. It simply means that you are assessing your options. An interview works both ways; you can also decide whether the company is a good fit for you. Even if you receive an offer, you aren’t forced to take the job. You can just say no and continue exploring until you find the right role. Exploring what else is out there is the best way to stay informed about the growing Fintech industry and ensure you are currently being compensated fairly for your time and experience.
“Sheltering in job” is the cautious route – but not well-suited to the dynamic, emerging-tech world of financial technology. You’ll find there are new Fintech opportunities opening up every day with established companies expanding their footprint in new markets and many start-ups developing, refining, and launching great new software solutions. They need qualified and talented individuals such as yourself.
I highly encourage you to be open to new possibilities. I can’t tell you the number of candidates we have spoken to that are just passively looking but found an opportunity they couldn’t turn down. Just remember that at worst, you might reconfirm that you are in the exact company and/or precise role you should be in at this time, and that knowledge is invaluable.
Elisa Sheftic is the President and Managing Partner of Right Executive Search, LLC. Her expertise is placing mid- to C-level executives in the Financial Technology (fintech) and Financial Services industries. She communicates with Human Resources, Hiring Managers, and candidates on a daily basis and offers insights to clients and candidates on recruiting best practices. Elisa received her MBA from New York University and completed her HR post-graduate studies at Cornell University.
For more information, please visit our website: www.rightexecutivesearch.com.