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Career decisions 4 min read

Making informed career decisions: Trends and strategies to consider in 2024

Stay on top of your career game by following insightful and actionable tips from our Talent Acquisition expert.

Choosing the right role is crucial to both your professional and personal well-being. In these uncertain times, it can be tempting to jump at the first opportunity that comes your way. However, it's important to pause and consider a few key factors to ensure that you're making the right career choice – the one that aligns with both your short- and long-term goals. In this article, Rachel Liem-Smith, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at CWB, shares top tips to help you navigate the job market in 2024 and beyond.


Your career: a rock-climbing wall or a running track?

If you find yourself unexpectedly searching for a new job, it can be initially challenging to look beyond the immediate future. However, it's best to shift your perspective and view your career as a journey.


Take a step back and reflect on your ambitions. Determine if you're on a "running track,” where you have a fixed final goal and the only way is up, or if your path is more like a "rock-climbing wall" where taking a sidestep can help ensure better long-term outcomes. Being mindful of your ambition will help provide exposure to opportunities that will help advance your career.


Embracing skills-based hiring: What you need to know about this top hiring trend 

The labour market is currently shifting toward an approach that assesses job candidates for their skills rather than on college degrees or other traditional credentials. From the employer standpoint, skills-based hiring expands the talent pool and helps create a more inclusive environment. For candidates, this opens more opportunities to apply and be considered for roles that previously might have seemed out of reach
While you’re at or considering a new job, it can be helpful to assess your experience. Depending on what a potential role calls for, you may need to reframe it, making tweaks to the language you use in your resume and how you talk about your background when it comes time to interview. Focus on highlighting your core skills and how they can be applied to the job at hand. Don't let your lack of direct experience stop you from applying; instead, convey confidence about your skills and how they can be adapted to the job's needs. 

Look beyond the compensation: Understanding total rewards 

While salary is undoubtedly important, don't forget that it is just one element of your compensation. Other parts of the total rewards package can include Registered Retirement Savings Plan contributions, personal and health Spending Accounts, parking and clothing expenses. Financial institutions can provide unique financial benefits, for example additional interest bonuses on savings accounts or special pricing on loans and mortgages. Always remember to check what short- and long-term incentives might be available and the basis upon which they are offered, whether it be performance, tenure, or something else.  
Look at the total rewards package through the lens of your current stage in life. 

Compensation packages for similar roles can differ across organization, and connecting the dots between your day-to-day expenses and how benefits can cover them will help you make the right career decision.  

Pro tip: normally, the biggest part of a job interview is dedicated to covering your skills and how they align with the role, the company goals and your ambitions, and the team you’ll be working with. It can become challenging to cover all the elements of the compensation package, so after the interview, remember to reach out to the hiring manager with the questions you might have. Get a full sense of perks and benefits and ask them to send any available resources so you can develop a complete picture of how you’ll be compensated for your work. 
Apart from the tangible components of your compensation package, remember to consider another factor that can have a significant impact on your overall work experience and job satisfaction – the company’s culture. When researching potential employers, pay attention to their values and how they are reflected in the day-to-day. Look for companies that prioritize employee well-being, invest in their communities, provide learning and development opportunities, and receive workplace awards year after year.  
Employers who have a strong culture of support, collaboration, and growth are more likely to foster a fulfilling and rewarding work experience. By choosing a company with a positive culture that aligns with your values, you can set yourself up for long-term career success and personal fulfillment. 

Hybrid work is here to stay

The pandemic ushered in significant changes to the labour market, including the rise of remote work. While the concept is still relatively new and its long-term effects are not entirely clear, hybrid work arrangements can benefit work-life balance for both employees and employers. Work-from-home days reduce overall commute times and can be used for more tactical tasks, while in-office work can be reserved for strategy, brainstorming and collaboration. 
Hybrid work can significantly reduce infrastructure costs for employers while providing employees with greater flexibility and a remaining ability to build meaningful connections with team mates.  
By considering these factors, you can make a more informed career growth decision.

Remember, you are in control of your career journey, and it's critical to approach job hunting with both an open mind and an informed perspective. 

Choosing your next job wisely is a crucial decision that can impact your career and overall well-being. By taking a holistic approach and considering factors such as the nature of your career journey, embracing skills-based hiring, looking beyond the salary range, and considering the benefits of a hybrid work arrangement, you can make a more informed decision. So, take your time, assess your options, and choose wisely for a fulfilling and successful career ahead.