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A New Year's Pep Talk

Estimated reading time ~ 3 min
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Can we just call a spade a spade? For far too many corporate professionals today…2022 kind of sucked.

Wild start to a New Year's ‘pep talk’, I know, but we can’t believe things will get better until we admit how bad they’ve been. So, let’s just get it all out there.

We’ve watched some of the best people—OUR people--get laid off at the worst possible time. I hate how normal these gut-wrenching posts from Black & brown folks—especially Black women—about being on the brink of financial collapse, mental exhaustion & surrendering to their circumstances have become lately. And don’t get me started on the never-ending stream of rejections, ghosting & woefully unfulfilled expectations a job search gets you these past 4 months.


As easy as it is to look back on 2022 with a sense of gloom, there is a very different story happening alongside the gloom and it deserves more attention.

Let’s start with all the stories being posted online of people out of work for so long they are losing hope. After you get through those stories, what else is left on your feed?

On mine are much different stories--stories of people who just accepted amazing new roles in fantastic new places that have breathed new life into their careers.

Or the thousands of recruiters who, as usual, got cut first when companies started freezing hiring & spending. Keep looking and what else is left to see?

I see the tireless managers, talent pros, solo HR acts & executives working the hell out of their networks more transparently than they ever have before to help their friends, family members & colleagues land on their feet. Referrals are way up over the last decade–it’s how 40% of people working today got their job, and that’s because getting one makes it 4x more likely for someone to land that job. I’ve referred 3 people from my personal network in the past 4 weeks who have gotten interviews in that same time frame!

What’s left after wading through all the rejections, ghosting & double-digit interviews of this year?

The organizations being much more thoughtful about who they hire, how they hire, and how to keep those hires around longer. In every professional conversation I’ve had since the start of October, talent acquisition pros have shared with me really specific details about how they are working to diversify their applicant pipelines, prioritize transferable skills and change their entire hiring process based on feedback from their candidates and new employees. These aren’t just survey data points. They’re real actions from real people intentionally working their way through a sea of (understandably) jaded, fatigued candidates to make sure their next hire is their best one yet.

And finally, what’s left for us, the BIPOC folk who consistently get the worst of it when stuff goes south in times like this?

The answer is—us.

There is so much more work to be done. There’s no denying that the the layoffs and pipeline impacts listed above have and will impact POCs the most. Still, 15 years into my B2B sales career, it’s the people and communities I serve and rely on that helps me see a clear path forward.

Our people and the communities like Jopwell we’ve built have always looked out for our own. And that’s led to me having almost 100 conversations with DEI & talent leaders in the past 6 months. I’m proud to say there are still many organizations & industries committing genuine time, effort and money to find and hire us, even now

Here’s to surviving 2022, and new horizons in 2023!

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