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2022: the shape of things to come

If you check into my archive, you may notice that I did not predict the pandemic. In fact, at times I’ve even said that I won’t or can’t predict. Ahem. So why, then, am I revving up for a few predictions about 2022? Because a) it’s the end of the year; b) everyone loves predictions; and c) it’s always good to have a post that you can look back on in a few years and marvel at how dumb you were! So without further ado, here are a few predictions about how 2022 will shape up:

  • The pandemic will continue to infect the unvaccinated: Now how could that happen?? Oh, right – the vaccine. If you haven’t gotten your 1st or 2nd or 3rd shot, you’re likely to get infected, whether it’s Delta, Omicron, or an even more devilish variant. Maybe you live in a developed nation, like the U.S., with lots of vaccine holdouts – or maybe you live in South Africa, where it’s just hard to get your hands on the vaccine. Either way, if you’re unvaccinated, the virus has an infection with your name on it.
  • Workplace nervousness: See ‘the pandemic’, above. Will workers return to the workplace? Well…if they have to. But many of them are realizing that their employers are doing them no favors by failing to ensure a safe workplace. The virus is more widely distributed than gun violence, more democratic than sexual harassment in whom it affects, and it is leaving a mighty toll of death and long-lasting effects worldwide. No wonder there is a bit of ‘hesitance’ on the part of workers with regard to returning.
  • More jobs than people: See first two items. In the US, we’re pushing 800,000 dead from the virus – a goodly percentage of which would have been working. We’re also coming off four years of massive cuts in immigration – once again, leaving a labor shortage in key sectors. Finally, many workers are realizing that they don’t have to go back to their old crappy job – they actually can move to something better. It’s a tough time to be an abusive and underpaying employer!
  • Remote is here to stay: See all of the above. During the heart of the pandemic, workers were sent home to do their jobs – and both they and their employers discovered that the sky did not fall, that productivity often rose, and that many of the workers liked remote better than ‘in office’. Even as employers try to bounce back to ‘in office’, they are discovering that their employees aren’t necessarily ‘on board’ with it (see: Apple). Many younger workers are seeing a different world beckoning – one in which they go into their workplace on occasion – not every day.
  • Remote isn’t evenhanded: Some jobs just can’t be remote. Think: emergency room doctor and nurse; car mechanic; massage therapist; barista; farmer; and so many others. Tack onto that the millions of people who actually want to work with and around other people. This raises a number of issues, the key one being (ahem) workplace safety. Perhaps job boards will soon be ‘branding’ certain workplaces as ‘COVID-safe’? I’d sign on to that.
  • CPA is here to stay: Why? Because Indeed says so, that’s why! If the biggest job board in the world says it’s moving to CPA, then guess what – so are a bunch of employers. What does that mean for the rest of us? Well…hard to say. A lot depends on how successful this move is for Indeed. Can they really deliver? Will employers be happy? And what about other players that offer CPA, like Appcast and Recruitology? Stay tuned.
  • Indeed gets a new logo: OK, this is just wishful thinking. I mean, come on, Indeed! You guys are taking this ‘simplicity’ thing way too far. Sure, you’ve got the Amazonian ‘swoop’ upside down just above your name. So what? Give us a big, robust logo like StackOverflow or even Stepstone’s little step stones! And what is it with you and LinkedIn going for the corporate blue? Even IBM has turned its back on corporate blue!
  • The JobBoardGeek podcast becomes the dominant job board business podcast of all time: Yeah, it’s a niche of a niche – but it’s a nice niche, right?

If any of this actually happens, remember: it was purely accidental. I have no predictive powers to speak of – after all, I’m the guy who thought Facebook was a dumb idea. ‘Nuff said.

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