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The Future of Work in 2023: Trends and Predictions for the Job Market


by Wiktoria Stretskite

The world is on the verge of a global recession. Just before that, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reshaped the international labor market. The processes of looking for jobs and candidates, retaining staff members, and progressing up the career ladder are very different today from what they used to be five years ago. In this article, we’ll discuss the future of work in 2023 and analyze the main trends that are shaping employment.

Key Job Market Trends 2023

Updated: May 19, 2023

Below, we’ll list the trends that have already manifested themselves. In the next couple of years, their importance will be only likely to increase.

Changes in the Requirements for Candidates for Various Positions

Previously, employers would hire people for specific roles. Today, they’re interested primarily in candidates’ skills. In other words, the HR manager will ask you not about what you did in the past but how you can contribute to your new employer.

Career paths have become non-linear. You should be ready to switch to new positions that might not even exist yet.

Growing Demand for Selected Professions and Qualifications

Soft skills have come to the forefront, such as creative thinking, problem-solving and negotiating. If your soft skills are well-developed, you’ll easily adapt to any change in the labor market.

The importance of hard skills is decreasing because it’s relatively easy to acquire them. Millions of professionals will soon need to learn to handle automation tools — and this will be the top-priority hard skill.

Impact of Technological Progress on the Labor Market

By 2030, automation can displace up to 800 million humans on the global labor market. To remain relevant for their employers, people need to acquire new skills and learn to work side by side with AI. They should learn to set tasks for AI, control the results of its work, feed data to it and teach it to improve.

AI helps humans find the best employment opportunities. At the same time, the more data you provide to a digital system, the higher the risk of a leak. Companies should be transparent about how they collect, store and use the gathered information. People should have a right to opt out of practices that they don’t like.

Other Trends

The representatives of different generations often work together in a team. What used to be a curious exception in the past, has become a norm.

An inclusive workplace means that everyone gets the right to showcase their talents and get a decent remuneration. For example, single moms with kids can work from their homes at the hours that they find the most comfortable. If they prefer to complete the tasks at night, their employers won’t mind that because they will be interested in the result of the work first of all.

Health and wellness in the workplace are particularly important for brick-and-mortar offices. People don’t want to spend long hours in boring rooms with outdated designs. To stand out from competitors, companies create multifunctional spaces where their staff can work, rest and communicate with each other. A good modern office should have leisure facilities, Instagram spots and a kitchen with wholesome snacks. Vending machines with sweets and fast food aren’t trendy anymore. Free yoga classes in office clusters are very much in vogue.

New Types of Employment

Employee experience is becoming the paramount value. Professionals want flexibility. They aren’t ready to visit the physical office every day, let alone regularly work extra hours.

Popularity of Freelance and Remote Work Is Growing

Remote work and hybrid work models have the following benefits:

  • People who work from their homes at least a few days per week report greater job satisfaction
  • In many cases, they perform better than in the office
  • Employers find it easier to hire candidates because they can offer them the flexibility
  • Companies get access to a larger international pool of talents

On the flip side, some professionals struggle to organize remote work. They feel disconnected from their teams and can’t cope with time management. It’s hard to supervise remote staff because little knowledge has been accumulated in this niche. Managers have to adjust by trial and error, which boosts their stress levels.

New Job Models, Such as Gig Economy

The gig economy has become commonplace. Gone are the days when a professional would remain with the same organization for decades, performing the same duties. Employees join projects and leave them in a relatively short time. They’re ready to push their professional boundaries.

Changes in Forms of Employment

Freelancing is thriving. Professionals don’t perceive themselves as a part of any organization anymore. They are independent entities who’re open to mutually fruitful collaborations — but not any type of “corporate slavery”.

Getting Ready for Future Work

Today, it’s not enough to once get a diploma or certificate that would confirm one’s hard skills. Ongoing learning for professionals of all ages has come to the forefront.

Which Skills Will Enjoy the Highest Demand in the Labor Market 2023

When making workforce predictions, employers need to remember: the representatives of Generation Z report lacking the necessary soft skills. Because of the pandemic, they had to compromise on the quality of education. They don’t feel ready for negotiations or remote team management. They’re afraid of entering the labor market.

On the one hand, it’s bad because companies will have to teach youngsters from scratch. On the other hand, it’s their chance to acquire talent cheaply. If you’re young and have well-developed soft skills, it can become your competitive edge.

Most Efficient Educational Methods

To remain relevant for the employer and keep receiving a steadily competitive income, every specialist needs to be ready for upskilling and reskilling. They should keep improving their existing skills and regularly acquire new ones.

The most efficient recruitment and retention strategies suggest that employers should provide free education to their staff members. It's especially important when the company can’t afford to increase the salaries of its staff or promote experienced workers to higher positions.

From a teammate’s point of view, upskilling and reskilling are great because:

  • It’s the company that pays for the education
  • People don’t need to take time away from work and sacrifice some part of their income to acquire new skills
  • They can be sure their new skills will enable them to be more productive at work and open growth opportunities for them in the future

From the employer’s position, it’s cheaper and easier to teach new skills to an employee who has been working for the organization for a while than to hire a new professional.

Final Thoughts

In 2023, the labor market has little in common with what it looked like five years ago. Professionals are increasingly prioritizing flexibility and work-life balance, seeking opportunities that allow them to maintain a healthy integration of their personal and professional lives. Employers, on the other hand, are recognizing the importance of creating a learning culture within their organizations, encouraging their workforce to continuously develop new skills and adapt to emerging roles and technologies. The rise of automation is reshaping traditional job structures, requiring individuals and businesses to embrace change and explore innovative approaches to thrive in this dynamic landscape.