S.onia Latona dared. In March, in the middle of the long corona lockdown, she was faced with the question of how things will go on after parental leave. After a restructuring, your job at an insurer no longer existed. The company gave her a choice: The 36-year-old could either move internally to another, equivalent position – or leave the company. “As a mother of two children, one of whom is only one year old, of course a lot goes through your head,” she says. “Above all, the question: is a change even feasible in this situation?”
Is he, she and her husband decided, despite the additional uncertainty caused by the pandemic. “The crisis certainly offers mothers opportunities to work more flexibly and to pick up the child in between.” Latona turned to recruiter Michael Page, who got in touch with her after a few hours with a first job offer. A few weeks ago she started her new job at an insurance company near Frankfurt. There, the trained insurance saleswoman takes care of the automation of processes, so: What tasks can a robot take on when processing insurance claims? “It’s a new challenge, but that’s exactly what I wanted,” she says.
Many have waited first
In the case of Sonia Latona, there was a clear reason for a change – but she had already thought about it before the pandemic. Many other people are also asking themselves the question: is now the right time to change jobs, when the labor market is recovering from the Corona crisis in great strides and companies are finally looking for more employees again? Or would it be advisable to wait a little longer in view of the spreading delta variant and possible new corona restrictions in autumn and winter?
One thing is certain: the usually quite high fluctuation on the labor market largely came to a standstill in the past year. Many companies have sent their employees on short-time work and hardly hired them, and those who have had a secure job have stuck to it for the time being. It would be expected that people will now look around more, especially since during the crisis many employees had applied for positions below their own career level out of necessity, as scientists from the Institute for Employment Research were able to show using data from the career network LinkedIn.
Nevertheless, it has not yet been seen that people in Germany are changing bread rolls en masse. An as yet unpublished study by the Federal Employers’ Association of Personnel Service Providers, for which Index Research researchers surveyed 1000 people from a wide variety of industries and all hierarchical levels, even came to the opposite conclusion: According to this, fewer people were actively looking for a new job in June 2021 than in April last year. According to the researchers, one explanation could be that at the beginning of the pandemic, many people were unhappy with the situation in the company and the extent of short-time work and were not yet able to assess the full extent of the crisis, so they were more willing to try something new.
The HR managers in the company are observing the situation in a similar way. Those who have a job tend to prefer secure employment to a change, as the prospects for the second half of the year are uncertain, the Federal Association of Personnel Managers said on request. There is no sign of an increasing willingness to change.
“Step into the unknown”
Martin Nehmer, career coach at Rundstedt’s outplacement consultancy, can basically understand this very well. He advises people who are no longer satisfied with their current position, who might want to change employers or even change branches. “If you’ve been with a company for years or decades, changing jobs is a big step into the unknown,” he says. You have to think very carefully about the risk you are taking. But that applies regardless of Corona. In his opinion, a good time to change is always when you are no longer satisfied with your previous job. “Persevering in a job or an industry where your health may even suffer is not good advice.”