Career Trends to Watch in 2011 | Lindsey Pollak's Blog

Career Trends to Watch in 2011

Happy New Year! Over the holidays, I spent some time thinking about the career trends that are most on my mind as we head into a fresh new year. Here are my thoughts, and I hope you’ll share yours in the comments.

1. The job market is not improving fast enough for most Americans. I have to agree with a recent New York Times op-ed by Bob Herbert, which pointed out that, while many data experts are painting a somewhat rosy picture of the economy in 2011, prospects for the 15 million+ unemployed Americans are still very grim.

Citing a Rutgers study, Herbert provides this chilling assessment: “The recession has been a cataclysm that will have an enduring effect. It is hard to overstate the dire shape of the unemployed.” I, for one, am committed to keeping this issue top-of-mind and working to find creative and effective solutions. As always, I will continue to share as many tips, tricks and tactics as I can to help more Americans get the jobs they want and need.

2. Fortunately, recent grad hiring is a bright spot. The good news if you’re looking for an entry-level position is that the job market is improving at a faster rate for recent grads than most other demographics.  The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2011 survey has shown that the job market for the Class of 2011 is off to a good start.

According to the organization, “Employers responding to the NACE Job Outlook 2011 Fall Preview survey reported plans to hire 13.5 percent more new bachelor’s graduates from the Class of 2011 than they did from the Class of 2010. When asked to describe the overall job market for Class of 2011 bachelor’s degree graduates, the largest group—almost half of employers— characterized it as ‘good.’ In comparison, last year, the largest group saw the job market as just ‘fair.’”

This doesn’t mean it will be easy for the Class of 2011, but we are definitely heading in the right direction when it comes to entry-level hiring.

3. Job categories are being forever changed. In the op-ed I mentioned above, Herbert also cites another New York Times article, which highlighted the fact that many of the jobs being added to the U.S. economy are not full-time positions with salary and benefits. Instead, “temporary workers accounted for 80 percent of the 50,000 jobs added by private sector employers in November.” This is not a new trend. Temping, freelancing, “permalancing,” adult interning, “free agenting,” consulting and other forms of non-full-time, non-salaried positions have been on the rise for years and they will continue to grow in 2011.

While many people opt for this arrangement as a lifestyle choice, for many other people it is the only option they have. If you are a recent grad or any job seeker, you need to seriously consider launching or re-starting your career in one of these employment situations. Although they may not be ideal, for many professionals these gigs have turned into the only way to get a foot-in-the-door of the workforce.

What other trends will you be watching in 2011? Please share!



  1. Nate Whitson says:

    Lindsey,this is a great post, but I especially agree with point number 3. Relatives of mine are under the same transition you speak of, either starting their own small freelance cleaning business or strongly considering other ways to make some income while getting their foot in the door at a new company.

    One other area of non-full-time work that is rapidly growing but which you didn’t mention is internships. Frequently, when businesses aren’t willing (or able) to completely open a new position, they offer an internship. At Internmatch, while speaking at associations and chambers of commerce we are seeing more and more young adults engaging in internships. In this way internships are not just for students anymore, instead becoming a key way for new hires to break into an industry.

    It makes a lot of sense – for companies weary of making a new hire in this tough economy this 12 week long interview makes hiring decisions easier.

    -Nate Whitson
    VP of Marketing,

    • Lindsey Pollak says:

      @Nate – Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and letting us know about your website. Internships are definitely becoming more popular at all levels and across many industries. Keep us posted on your business!


  2. Nate Whitson says:


    Thanks for the recognition. We can both agree that the internship realm is booming. Our organization has great information about what fields of internships are growing and why that is. With their rising importance, this topic seems like it would resonate very well with your readers. Would you consider collaborating on an article posting? Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss different topics surrounding internships and their growth.


    Nate Whitson
    VP of Marketing,

  3. John Groth says:

    Even with this negative job outlook prediction, the focused job hunter who works hard and smart will find what the employer is looking for: someone who can solve problems, and find and resolve challenges. This receipe also works for those currently employed-the survival of the fittest. How we all get “fit” is the answer.

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