To be totally clear: this is not advice! This is me opining for your entertainment only.
Several people have asked me offline as well as frequent podcast listeners to make some conjectures on where the job market is headed.
✔️ I don't know. I'm not a power broker or an economist. I have no idea where things are headed and for what length of time. If anyone is telling you they are 100% certain, I would personally be skeptical.
✔️ I would not be surprised to see an influx of people using the gig economy not so much because they want to, but because they feel like they have to in order to make ends meet.
✔️ I would also not be surprised to see an influx of HR/staffing/recruiting folks turning to "coaching" without understanding how saturated that market already is and how insane the industry can be.
Spooky music by Charlie_Raven from Pixabay
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Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find his online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here's your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. So I have been asked many times, both offline in real life and from frequent tuner enters of the podcast to make some predictions. And I've been hesitant to do that for a number of reasons. But I will take a stab at it today. First things first, I'm going to give my standard boilerplate here. I am not a doctor, a lawyer, an economist, a professional financial planner, or advisor. I'm not a power broker. I'm not a billionaire or a hedge fund manager for billionaires. I do not sit on the World Economic Forum. I'm not 120 years old. I did not live firsthand through the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression. There are a great many things in this life that I do not know. This is not in any way, shape, or form to be construed as advice, legal, medical, financial advice, spiritual advice, psychological advice, etc. Absolutely not. I am throwing darts at a dartboard here. The truth is, nobody knows for sure what's about to happen, myself included. I am strictly making conjectures and my best guesses for your entertainment only. If you call a 1-900 psychic hotline, or you booked a tarot card reading online, same thing this is being sold as a curio only do not make any major life decisions based on what this reading tells you. This is not advice it is for your entertainment only. It's sad in some ways that we have to make these disclaimers just to put out an op ed piece, but we do this is the world we live in. So I'm going to say it again, emphatically clear, none of this is advice. It is set simply for your entertainment only. And that's it. Okay, so I will slide on my Carnac the Magnificent hat here and just do some opining, particularly as it relates to the job market. In terms of the overall economy, what's brewing up, I don't know, the Fed has not been shy in saying that they want to cool the economy off, they want the housing market to cool off and they want the job market to cool off. So there's a couple of very obvious parallels there in the same way that the housing market has has been intensely seller driven. buyers were at a huge disadvantage. And sellers were very arrogant. It was like if you don't show up, with a million dollars in cash and a bouquet of red roses and a steak dinner than eff off. We don't even want to hear from you. I mean, it was just so slanted in favor of the seller over the buyer. We saw a similar thing play out in the job market during the Great resignation. Candidates and employees held the cards in a way that I've not ever seen. I've been doing this for well over a decade and I have never seen a candidate slash employee driven market like this one. No, I have seen markets where the candidates had a pretty good foothold. I mean, the last oil and gas boom cycle that I went through. I remember an electrical engineer fresh out of college that demanded 70k to walk through the door. I don't even think that person had any internships if I remember correctly, wanted 70k to walk in the door and an energy company got it. So yes, there have been other times in human history where people have demanded high salaries and they have stuck to their guns and prevailed. That has happened. But I don't remember it being across the board in so many industries. I mean, this really was a unique time. And I hope, as I've said publicly many times before, I hope that people have been able to get as much out of it as possible. Because when the pendulum swings in the other direction, it has the tendency to do so a lot faster than what we imagine. And I think based on what the Fed is telling us, it's not unreasonable to take a wild guess that we will probably see unemployment ticking upward in the future. Obviously, this too shall pass that's not going to last forever. But I do think in the immediate term, we could definitely see that happening. I also sad to say I think that we will continue to see things like hiring freezes rescinded offers and layoffs and I do not think over the course of time that will be relegated strictly to the tech industry and to Things like real estate and banking and mortgage brokers, I think it will spread to other areas of the economy. And I know that some people are gonna get mad when I say this, I've been trying to whistleblow about this. And the reality is some of the jobs posted our BS, they're not going to people, the companies aren't going to hire for them. They're either put up for appearances sake, or they're evergreen jobs that you know, maybe we'll hire somebody for this one day, maybe we won't we just kind of want to collect resumes for the applicant tracking system. Not all that glitters is gold. And so I do think that as more of these zombie companies fold these, these companies that are backed up by nothing but hot air, debt, and VC money as the zombie companies have to go bankrupt, and they start to fold, I think more people out in the marketplace might finally clue in Oh, okay. So the same day that this zombie company declared bankruptcy, they still had 58 open reqs posted on their website. But the thing of it is, by the time the general public and I I'm not trying to sound elitist, or hateful, when I say this, I'm trying to just be real. By the time the general public catches on, Oh, holy poop, there's a crap storm, a brewing, oh, this company's bankrupt, oh, unemployment is 10%. By the time there's a general awakening, it's really too late. So if you're listening to this broadcast today, for your entertainment only, you know, it might not be a bad idea to just sit down, look at your budget and think about the future, not telling you what to do. Sit down with a professional financial planner or advisor if you feel that's necessary. But it's a wise idea, in my opinion, to know your household budget, and to really get intentional and strategic about where you're spending your money these days. And also, don't be afraid to take a look at whether or not the company that you're working for is stable, isn't a zombie company. Do you know, can you do some research on Google to find out, I mean, it's worth 10 seconds of your time to do a basic Google search and try to figure things out. I would also predict that it is possible that we would see more people going into the gig economy and or freelancing not because they necessarily want to do that. But because they're going to be driven there out of necessity, as the layoffs and the hiring freezes continue. I think some people are going to be in dire straits, it's going to be difficult for them to immediately rebound from a job loss, especially if unemployment continues to tick upward. And they are going to go into gigging or freelance work out of necessity, rather than out of want to mean we saw this happen, when COVID hit some people went into like delivery driving or personal shopping. Some people drove for like a rideshare service. And it wasn't necessarily because that's what they wanted to do. It's what they had to do. That was what the crisis demanded. And so that's what they did. In the event that we have another pandemic, whether it's another round of COVID whether it's monkey pox, which I admittedly really don't know that much about. I heard the other day on the news that Polio is trying to make a comeback. I mean, are we in the Great Depression, I mean, polio, is coming back what the hell. So whatever could be lurking if there were another global pandemic, if we had another round of lockdowns, we had another two weeks to flatten the curve. You know, there could be another situation where people needed delivery drivers, they needed personal shoppers, because we just wouldn't be allowed to go in these places. I've heard a rumor I do not know I'm gonna be very, very clear. I do not know the veracity of this, I haven't been able to independently verify it. I've just heard a rumor that there are certain stores in this country that will never go back to 24/7 operation again, that part of the economy is done and over with and you're only going to be able to get in during certain work hours, but they're not going to have the stores open overnight ever again. And in the event of like violence or a declaration of martial law, they would close the store and it would be curbside pickup or delivery only in the event of another pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, same thing. So these are things that for your entertainment only you might want to think about. And in my opinion, I think if we had scenarios like that, you would again out of necessity see more people who needed work going into the rideshare service, the personal shopping, and things of that nature. Speaking in more specificity about the HR staffing and recruiting world in particular, I also believe that it's possible that we will see more individuals who get laid off and those arenas turn into quote, coaching jobs, and put whatever nomenclature on it that you want interview coaching, interview preparation, career coaching, career development, An HR coaching, etc, etc. A horse is a horse. Of course, of course, well, you know, put whatever title on it that you want. I think we will see more of that. And I think unfortunately, some of these people are going to be woefully unprepared for what it actually is to be a coach. Some people get into coaching because they're the best advice giver in their circle of friends or everybody in the family comes to them as the wise person that always has the answers. And so they think if I can provide advice free of charge for my friends and family, then surely individ private individuals will pay me 1000s upon 1000s of dollars to provide them with advice to so they're going to be in for some real treats. And I'm not trying to sound pessimistic when I say that it's just I've lived it. And I I am more. What's the word I'm looking for judicious is a good one careful is another good one. I'm, I'm scoping out exactly the right word picky. I don't know I'm pickier than ever than ever than ever than ever. Even even in a recession. Even when I'm trying to get myself as financially prepared as possible to ride out a poop storm. I am pickier than ever about who I will take on as a coaching client for what length of time and for what goals because I have been burned. Like anybody that has been involved in coaching, I severely underestimated just how saturated the market is, how low the barriers to entry are, and how some people really don't want to be coached. They hire you, they agree to all of the terms, but then what they really actually want is somebody to sit on the phone with them or on Zoom or in person, whatever your format is, and just listen to them have a stitch and bitch, they want to gripe they want somebody to gripe to, they don't want to do anything to change their circumstances, they don't want to do anything to really level up or bust out of a plateau, they just want you to sit down, shut up and listen to them. And some people are also looking for a scapegoat, quite frankly, their business is in the 12 Lay, it's never going to get any better, they're not going to implement the changes that they need or pivot over to something else that actually could make them money. And so they're looking for someone to blame. They want to pin the failure of their business on you. So I'm not gonna sit here and tell anybody to get into coaching or to not get into coaching to stay in it or to stay out of it. It is not my place to do that. I'm just making general predictions here. And my prediction is we will see more of these people coming from bloated HR or bloated staffing and recruiting offices or from third party staffing agencies that just simply don't make it. They're going to try to set out a shingle call themself a coach and then they're going to get a big bite of a reality sandwich is Martin crane would say. Now Speaking more broadly about white collar quote unquote knowledge work in general, I think we will see a similar phenomenon play out or let me hedge my bets here and be PC we could it's possible that we might see a similar phenomenon play out meaning people are going to turn to gigging and freelancing. They're going to set out a shingle and say, All right, well, you know what I was getting paid to do it my full time w two job before I got laid off, I'll just go out onto the freelancing marketplace and see if I get any takers, they're some people I predict will be successful, a lot will not. And again, I'm not trying to sound like a pessimist or an E or when I say that. It's just that freelancing is its own weird, distinct world. And there are reasons why not everybody wants to be a business owner. There are reasons why not everybody wants to be a freelancer and cover their own benefits. There are a lot of people that at the end of the day, they like being a W two employee with benefits. They like having a boss that makes the tougher decisions that they don't have to they like kind of being in their own sandbox having their own piece of the puzzle to deal with. They don't want to work on a business as well as in a business and I don't freakin blame them. There are times when I'm like, Oh, why did i Why did I do this? I mean, yes, I enjoy having my freedom but with freedom. I'm about to Spider Man you hear with great freedom comes great responsibility. I mean, that's true. So I think some people are going to be in for a rude awakening there as well. So we're gonna go out to the marketplace, and we're gonna say, Alright, I want to charge $50 an hour for my service. And then they're gonna see people in other countries that say, Yeah, I'll do the same thing as that person over there. And first world America for $5 an hour. I mean, it's it's going to get I think, even more wild wild west than it already is. And I think people may realize holy poop, I thought that I was going to be able to make this work. I thought that I was going to be able to cobble together enough to make enough money to keep the lights on and to stay afloat. But I realized now this is not what I thought it was going to be. The other side of that coin is the jobs that are open that are legitimate jobs where the company wants to perform From interviews and actually hire a human being, rather than a robot, or some fake job posting for optics, they really want to hire a human being to fulfill that position, the competition for open roles is only going to get more intense. So instead of having from a recruiting and HR perspective, instead of having to get on the phone with hiring managers, and be like Gordon Ramsay on Hell's Kitchen, move your OS, come on, my dead grand moves faster than you instead of doing that, with the hiring managers, the pendulum is gonna swing over to candidates, you're gonna have to be like, Look, do you want this job or not? And that is going to make people so mad. Because here we are, we're coming out of the great resignation, where the candidates have been in a huge, huge power position. And so all of a sudden, having a recruiter, whether you're talking about a corporate recruiter, or whether you're talking about somebody, a third party, staffing agency, having a recruiter get on the phone and be like, Look, do you want this job or not? If you're serious, then you're going to have to pony up and let's go, I need an answer as soon as possible, or they're going to move on. Some people have never been talked to that way. And look, I'm gonna get hate mail. I'm not saying it's right. I'm telling you, it has happened before. And it very well may happen again. So probably some people are gonna get their feelings hurt. Probably some people gonna get their noses out of joint be like, nobody's ever talked to me that way before. I can't imagine a recruiter getting on the phone with me and telling me that I need to get my button gear and make a decision, like within 24 hours, or they're going to move on, I just can't believe that. Well, believe it, believe it. Because when we're talking about recession, or depression, economical conditions, corporate America has one hell of a huge advantage over me. And you. You know, as George Carlin always said, it's one big club and you and I are not in it. Well, your fix it, you fix it to find out just how big of a club that is, and how you and I are, in fact, not a part of it. I think it's possible that we may see lower wages. And I know that's not welcome news, especially when we're talking about inflation or hyper inflation. But I really don't see any way around that some of the people who job hopped during the Great resignation, and they progressively got more and more money every time they made a quantum leap to another organization. Those wages are not going to be sustainable in the long run, or in the short run, really, if you think about it. Now I am not victim blaming anybody here so I don't want to get hate mail. We're saying it's somebody's fault. No, I'm not. No, I'm not in the same way that sellers took a look at the market. And they listened to realtors, and they listened to brokers that told them Hey, you can price your house 400% over fair market value right now and get it. I mean, they just took advantage of the economic conditions. So did candidates. They looked around and said, Okay, I'm making 60k. Right now, I'd really like to make 80. So I think I'll put myself out there at 80 and see what happens. And most of them succeeded. I don't blame anybody for doing that. Here's the thing. Now we have to pay the piper, that's where we're at. The economy is like in this weird effed up place. And it's like, okay, well, the company is not going to be able to sustain the wages that they offered. I'm not saying it's the candidates fault. The companies cannot sustain the wages that they offered. And so now we're here, the same thing in the market, people have gotten themselves way overloaded. In some cases, they didn't factor in the rising property taxes, the rising homeowners insurance, they didn't think about what is it going to be like to actually maintain this place. And some of the people who waved Home Inspections found out that they bought a lemon. The next thing you know the plumbing is shot or the HVAC system is kaput, or the roof needs to be replaced in some cases, all of the above. And they might have been on the hook for another 60 70 grand before the dust settled. So it's it's a dicey time right now. And and I think anytime that the market gets so hot, it sort of defies human sanity, it's in for a cool down, what goes up must come down. The markets are cyclical, we, we realize that. So when things got so hot and so intense, it's like, at some point, the band is going to stop playing. And the band has stopped playing, folks, in my opinion. I think some people will take a look around and say, You know what, I'm in a pretty good place. No, my job's not perfect. No, my boss is not perfect either. Sometimes, my boss can be a real jerk. Sometimes my coworkers can work my last good nerve, but all things considered, my benefits are good. My pay is good. I feel like I'm in a solid place. So I think I'm going to stay here and ride it out. Come what may over the next few months, or maybe even the next few years, I think I'm just going to plug in here, do the best job that I can, I'm not going to just essentially quiet quit and zone out and see if I can do the bare minimum and hope that works out. I'm going to do what I need to do. And I'm going to try to stay here I kind of consider this to be a safe haven for me and I'm going to use it to ride the storm out. I think people will do the same thing with their houses. Some people who could have made a crapload of money last summer are going to look around and say, You know what? I feel I feel alright, you know, maybe some old carpeting or the same four walls I've been a little burned out on looking at for all this time. It's not so bad after all. So what are we in for? How long will it last? How deep will it go? I have absolutely no idea and wouldn't even want to try to make any predictions on that. Are we going to wind up having to bail out cryptocurrency are we going to wind up having to bail out banks again? Gonna have to wind up bailing out the real estate industry? I don't know. I don't know. You know, been the whole too big to fail debacle Been there done that watched all that mess play out. That could happen. I don't know. And I don't even want to start trying to make guesses on it because I don't know enough about those market sectors to even try. I just recommend that you keep your head on a swivel. You stay alert. Not paranoid, not hyper vigilant, but just alert that way you're not caught off guard. Come What made these predictions have been for your entertainment only and should not be construed as advice of any kind. Stay safe. Stay well, and I'll see you in the next episode. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. If you haven't already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next time.