Back To Career News

5 Ways a Good Job Market Could Actually Be Bad for Your Career

Topics: Current Events
job market
Caleb Jones/Unsplash

The latest jobs report showed that the unemployment rate is holding steady at 3.7 percent. Employers added 250,000 jobs last month, which is even more than economists expected.

Of course, workers have other issues to contend with, mainly the fact that wages have been fairly stagnant for some time. However, the job market is booming, by a host of measures.

This should be a great thing for your career, right? Yes and no. Here are a few ways that a good job market could work against you.

1. There’s more competition than is immediately obvious

A fair number of people who previously decided to stop looking for work have a change of heart when the employment picture looks like it does right now. In fact, the labor force has been growing by about 70,000 people per month since the start of 2018.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

There are more jobs available right now, but there are also more and more people flooding that market looking for employment each month. This reality might catch job seekers by surprise. Even with the unemployment at a 49-year low, the average job search is still taking about five months, on average.

2. Getting Hired When you’re under-qualified doesn’t always work out well

You might feel like you’ve hit the lottery if you’re offered a job that you’re not quite qualified to do. And maybe you have. Everyone needs an employer to take a chance on them at some point in their career.

However, taking a job for which you’re under-qualified can backfire. There’s a difference between being challenged and being in over your head. You don’t want to end up being let go because you’ve taken a job that’s beyond you.

So, think carefully about these choices. And, be sure to ask a lot of questions if you’re in a new job that feels like a stretch.

3. Changes, changes, changes

A lot of folks will be tempted to switch jobs, or even careers, when the job market is as robust as it is right now. That could mean stress for those who stay put.

You could find that some of the coworkers you rely on most are moving on. It’s not easy when someone you count on leaves, especially if they’re a coworker that you really enjoy having around. A thriving job market can mean a lot of changes, and that can pose some challenges.

4. All the choices can be overwhelming

Sometimes, too many choices can be a bad thing. Some job seekers are reporting feeling overwhelmed by all the options. And they’re struggling to commit.

“The fact that the job market is so strong can actually work against you,” one headhunter told Fortune. “We’re seeing more people holding out for the ‘perfect’ job, with the idea that there are so many choices, they don’t have to ‘settle’ until they find it.”

5. Tempted by greener grass

It can be challenging to appreciate what you have when a multitude of shiny new job opportunities are available. Your own job might start to look a little less than optimal, even if you’re really happy where you are.

So, slow down and remember to consider your current situation honestly and carefully. Moving on isn’t always the best thing, even when the options are abundant.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think the booming job market might actually be hurting you? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.