DC professionals are job hunting, and many will do so without a net

With the Great Resignation playing out as predicted, job optimism among D.C.-area professionals is high in the new year, and that optimism means confidence in finding a better paying, or more challenging, job.

A survey of D.C.-area professionals by staffing firm Robert Half found a large share are job hunting.

“It was pretty staggering for the Greater Washington, D.C., area,” said Trey Barnette, regional Vice President at Robert Half. “About four out of 10 people, specifically 38% of local workers, are planning to look for a new job in the next six months.”

The survey also found 32% of local professionals would consider quitting their current job without another one lined up.

“A lot of people right now are looking to take a break from work, being burned out from the last two years dealing with the pandemic. Some want to pursue other interests. Some want to focus on more education. Some just want to take a little time while they’re looking for another job,” Barnette said.

The top reasons for moving on are better pay, benefits and perks. But professional development is also on the checklist.

Robert Half’s survey found 88% of D.C.-area professionals are confident about their current skills sets, yet 37% feel they don’t have a clear path for advancement at their current company.

And remote work is here to stay, with 61% of those looking being at least interested in a fully remote position.

Almost half of technology professionals plan to look for a job in the next six months, and half of Gen Z professionals say so.

Employers know the new challenges they face in attracting and retaining top talent, but Robert Half believes many have still been slow in making the pivots needed to address those challenges.

The firm suggests companies make sure their compensation and benefits are competitive within their industry, make more professional development plans available, constantly seek employee input and reinforce the importance of their work.

Robert Half recently released its 2022 Salary Guide, which reports projected starting salaries for more than 500 positions across a range of sectors. The guide is free, though it requires registration to download.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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