The job market remains remarkably good.
The unemployment rate hovers at a half-century low and employees are negotiating offers for new jobs at higher pay. The Labor Department reports that job openings and the number of times workers quit hit the highest levels on record in March.
"The labor market is still very much a job seeker's market," writes Nick Bunker, economic research director at the Indeed Hiring Lab. "Something dramatic will have to happen for this to change anytime soon."
If you're thinking about making a job or career change, there's every reason to get moving now. This is especially true for experienced workers looking for new challenges. If that's you, to help map out your plan of action pick up a copy of Kerry Hannon's new book, "In Control at 50+: How to Succeed in the New World of Work."
The desire to change jobs for many experienced workers partly reflects the strong job market. More important may be the lessons drawn from the hard pandemic years.
"This unprecedented time has made us think hard about our priorities, particularly when there are more yesterdays than tomorrows ahead," Hannon writes. "The experience has taught us lessons about what we value, what sustains us, and what it feels to lose it."
These insights include our work. Hannon sets the scene by highlighting work trends that accelerated during the pandemic.
They are: The rise in remote work; the increase in contract work; more midlife entrepreneurs; the drive for encore careers; and the importance of additional learning and training with age.
Most of the book focuses on advice for figuring out what comes next and how to how to land that desired position.
Hannon is clear-eyed about employer ageism and the barrier it poses to older jobseekers, especially women and minorities. Ever the realistic optimist, Kerry offers sound guidance for navigating the shoals of ageism while taking control of your work life.
"In Control at 50+" is a savvy and practical guide. But core to its spirit is an underlying belief that everyone can find purpose at work.
"I know you hear that buzzword all the time, but the truth is, it gets to the core of what you're looking for in the workplace. Feeling joy in the work we do is important to our sense of worth and identity," she writes. "It's more important than the money you make."
Wise counsel indeed.
Chris Farrell is senior economics contributor to American Public Media's "Marketplace" and a commentator for Minnesota Public Radio.