Just holding onto the job, you had was what most people wanted to do a year ago. But the allure of higher salaries may be wooing some employees to greener pastures.

Not many people were hunting for jobs at this time last year. At the start of a pandemic and associated economic downturn, most workers were worried about their company’s stability and keeping the jobs that they already had. Would there be layoffs? If so, would other companies even be hiring? It was a time of great uncertainty.

Looking for a new job and a higher salary last year was not a priority. Holding onto the job you had seemed like the smart thing to do.

But now in 2021, COVID vaccines are being distributed, schools are reopening, and most people have a much greater sense of certainty about their jobs and their value in the market.
If you were going to be laid off due to COVID’s economic impact, it probably would have happened by now. Now it is clearer what new opportunities have been created and which vertical industries to avoid for a while still. For a list of popular job titles and their relative volume of positions in the Bay Area, check out this list from USA Wage.

It might be time to dust off your resume and start looking at the job market again. In particular, if you were in a position where your salary was frozen and it still hasn’t thawed, you may be wondering what opportunities are out there.

If you go back to the first three to six months of the pandemic, there were a lot of unknowns, and candidates looked for a new job out of need more than desire. Over the last six months, I am seeing a steady increase in traffic entering the job market again as candidates are more confident about making a move.
If you want a raise, changing jobs has usually been the easiest way to do it.
Candidates may have moved a few times and seen a salary bump of 25% each time, although the pandemic may have normalized those salaries somewhat.

Another big shift in the market is the acceptance of remote talent. As companies have been forced to work with a remote workforce, they’ve realized that they can choose from a bigger pool of candidates when they go beyond geographic constraints.

For instance, a company in San Francisco may have been paying top dollar for local talent, but the pandemic shifted the mindset about who they could hire. Now they may be looking at candidates possibly ones who would only come to the office once or twice a week, or possibly ones who would be completely remote.
They can pay these candidates less but still pay a premium over what that candidate would make in their local market.

Companies are not low-balling the remote candidates
That means that if you are looking to upgrade your salary and you don’t already live in an expensive market like San Francisco, you may be able to get a salary boost by applying for remote jobs with companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I am seeing more of a hybrid workforce over the long haul. Employees will have more choice in their work schedules provided the quality of their work stays high.
If your current employer doesn’t pay well and doesn’t have the kind of culture you want, you are doing yourself a disservice to not look at what is out there. Don’t be afraid to do the research.
It’s not being disloyal to your current employer to look at what else is out there.