As we entered the second half of 2023, economists were more optimistic about side-stepping a recession, unemployment continued its history-making trend, job creation broke expectations, and inflation rates dropped dramatically to near 3%.
But while the labor market is softening, it remains persistently strong, and the competition for top talent in Accounting and Finance is hot. 2024 is poised with promise for Accounting and Finance Professionals looking to elevate their careers or pursue new opportunities. Our annual salary guide offers tools and resources to help navigate the top trends driving hiring and retention in the year ahead.
1) Now is the Time to Discuss Your Professional Growth
As the Accounting and Finance landscape continues to experience constant change, from the talent shortage to remote work to the return to the office, less than one-third of the workforce feels engaged in their work, as we reported in May. To help improve company culture and employee satisfaction, employers are taking a hard look at retention and engagement strategies for 2024.
The final quarter of 2023 is the perfect time to talk with your manager about your career aspirations and goals and to develop a roadmap for your next promotion or new role. Download the salary guide for more advice on planning your next steps.
2) Understand the Opportunities and Risks of AI
In the constantly evolving business world, artificial intelligence is perhaps one of the biggest trends driving change. The technology is quickly moving from the experimental to the operational, and CFOs are uniquely positioned to lead a broader organizational shift into the use of AI-powered tools.
Likewise, forward-focused Accounting and Finance professionals can help bring AI to the enterprise, automating repetitive tasks and freeing up your time to focus on more strategic initiatives. Rather than approaching AI with trepidation, you can embrace the technology as an opportunity to be more efficient, leaving more meaningful work for you and your peers.
The salary guide examines both the benefits and risks of AI, as well as the fear that some professionals feel about the rapid change brought by technology — particularly in generative AI disrupting the workforce and displacing employees.
3) Don’t be Afraid to Discuss Salary
Open job rates remain well above pre-pandemic levels, but the WSJ reports “Openings have fallen this year as interest rates rise and employers trim their hiring plans.” But what impact does the gradually cooling job market and slowing economy make on hiring and retention in Accounting and Finance? Very little.
We’ll say this again: The job market in Southern California remains hot, and the shrinking talent pool will drive competition in 2024. If you consistently received great reviews and haven’t received a raise in three years, don’t be afraid to ask for one in 2024. Work transparently with your manager to outline how you have contributed to the company over the past few years and why you should earn more. Employers know it is much less expensive to adjust a high-performing employee’s pay than to see them walk out. Read the guide for more suggestions on seeking higher pay.
4) Get Back to the Office
For a third consecutive year, one of the biggest conundrums organizations faced in Southern California was the requirement of in-office days. Remote or hybrid working arrangements had become one of the most sought-after benefits and a perk employees weren’t willing to give up.
But the pendulum is swinging back to mandated in-office time in 2024 — for almost all industries. While flexible work did help reduce burnout during the pandemic, it also resulted in negative impacts on productivity, engagement and human resource management.
With the pandemic behind us, one thing is clear, the return to work is necessary. Use this time to shine in the office and get face time with supervisors, senior leaders, mentors and others who can help advance your career. Download the salary guide to learn more.
Amidst the talent shortage and softening labor market, the 2024 Alliance Resource Group Salary Guide is your North Star for leveraging in-office time, negotiating better pay and advancing career plans.