Based on a recent survey in the topic, we can no longer avoid the actuality of career changes: right now, 2 out of 5 people are already in the process of a career change, while other 2 are preparing for it. Coworkid Foundation and Coca‑Cola Hungary’s #YouthEmpowered program have brought together key representatives of the labor market for a unique event.
Change is present in all of our careers, especially today when an average employee will barely spend more than 3 years at the same workplace. In the case of women, career changes are even more frequent; most of them will turn to change after having children and realizing that their former skills are no longer in demand on the labor market.
#YouthEmpowered and its partners put great focus on the labor market chances of young parents and have examined the current chances of this target group from both the recruiters’ and trainers’ side.
We would be surprised to see how many women apply for forklift driver trainings, or how many expectant mothers study programming during their parental leave. Recruiters have also revealed that currently, the most high-demand positions that companies are looking for are the following: Java developer, software engineer, programmer and sales manager.
Training opportunities instead of promotions?
Hajnalka Szepessy, director of Perfekt believes that today’s labor market is motivating both employers and employees to learn. Research shows that employee retention and motivation is more successful through trainings, advancement and promotions than financial compensation.
Szepessy has also mentioned a typical Hungarian attitude towards learning opportunities:
Based on our experience, people in Hungary will travel as much as 50 kms, just to be able to study in a group, regardless of how many online trainings there are. Research proves however that 15 minutes of individual, online learning can often be more effective than 45 minutes in a group.
Máté Benedek, marketing and communication director of Green Fox Academy has pointed out that although any profession can be self-taught with the right amount of time investment, training centers or workplace trainings have the benefit of offering the possibility to practice this knowledge in real-life situations.
The duality of the labor market
While young parents and career changers mean great potential for solving labor shortages, employers might not be ready to offer the conditions that help these groups to become active. „It is the responsibility of HR to make sure that management is not driven only by strict control” – said Dóra Farkas, HR expert.
HR managers believe that self-knowledge, the ability to define our strengths and plan consciously are the most important aspects of job seeking. Gergely Csanda, marketing director of Talentuno believes however that this consciousness is often challenged by the instant changes of the labor market: We no longer plan 3-5 years in advance, we don’t even know what is going to happen in 3 months. People will often give up in their long-term goals for short-term opportunities.
Family-friendly workplaces are in demand
Most of the panelists of the career day were parents of small children and have shared relevant personal experiences about how they manage to balance their family life with building a successful career. According to the project manager of HR Partner Consulting, when it comes to being family friendly, there is no significant difference between multinational companies and small and middle-sized companies. “Infrastructure of multinational companies allows these to be more flexible, or to have company kindergartens and home office days. Small and middle-sized companies at the same time, have not yet forgotten about their human side and can therefore turn with empathy to young parents.”
Representatives of the recruitment section of the career day have collected to following three advice for young parents looking for flexible, family friendly workplaces or for those who are thinking about a career change:
- consider working as a freelancer;
- look around to see if you could join a platform business, as these are present in many areas, it is easy to join them and are easy to work for even as a side job or as a stay-at-home parent;
- last, but not least: don’t be afraid to apply for full time positions even if you would like to work part time. We would be surprised to know that even small and middle-sized companies would react positively to these applications and are often willing to offer a 6-hour position instead of a full time one. We should always talk honestly about our needs in a job interview, even if the job description didn’t exactly match our preferences. – said Gergely Csanda.
Gender stereotypes in the labour market
In our country it is still considered unusual if a boy decides to become a kindergarten teacher, or a girl is learning to become a programmer. The perception of feminine or masculine professions is present in our society from as early as childhood. The career event’s third inspirational discussion has focused on presenting successful people and their career change - women with unusual professions has also shared their stories. Blogger of BebePiskóta, Beáta Nagy-Pojdin has first faced gender discrimination in her profession right at the beginning of her career, during the confectionary training, when women in her group were told that they would never become professional pastry cooks, simply because of being women.
Nikolett Szép, who has chosen to become an alpinist, has also recalled facing gender stereotypes on a regular basis: I can, and I do like to dress as a woman. But when I work, I don’t care if it is stained or dusty, I prefer to wear my working clothes – as I want to be recalled for the work I do. Professional work and knowledge will eventually lead to being respected, but I do remember receiving some discouraging looks and I often had to perform at 150% instead of 100%, because if there is one women in a group, she will receive much more attention than 10 other men.
Some, however, will take advantage of these situations. „Construction is typically a place, where, as a woman, you are not taken seriously. When I went to a building site wearing a skirt, I thought this was a violation of workplace safety, but instead, everything was done for me immediately” - said Adrienn Hodik, owner of Natura Hill pension and slow food bistro.
Initiatives of the likes of this career day are in high demand, as they not only give a realistic overview on the labor market, but help job-seekers and career changers to find the motivation to change and to look for their dream job based on their real needs and interests, regardless of gender stereotypes.